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Our most-read stories of 2023

Before the festive season kicks off, take a look at Bhekisisa’s most-read stories of 2023.

Taken by storm: Why climate change will make transactional sex more common

Researchers say transactional sex will become more common because of a rise in climate change-related droughts and floods. Droughts and floods cause financial hardship, and therefore increase the market for sex in exchange for rewards.

No patient left behind? How national treasury’s budget cuts will affect comm serve posts

Budget cuts to the provincial departments will leave close to 200 health science graduates without spots for their community service. The knock-on effect will be that fewer people who use state hospitals will have access to health services like dentists and physiotherapists.

How to get meds to Africa faster — and safer

South Africa’s medicines regulator is helping to process pharmaceutical companies’ applications for medicines to be approved by the African Medicines Agency. But the country won’t have a say in the appointment of the agency’s head because it hasn’t yet ratified the treaty for its establishment.

[WATCH] Why these three women use the anti-HIV pill and vaginal ring

Around 500 people in South Africa get infected with HIV each day. A number that Mbali Jonas from the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation wants to reduce to zero. They’re doing this by telling youth about medications that can stop HIV infection. We take you to their communities and show you how they work.

Leveraging South Africa’s maturity level 3 to strengthen regulatory systems in the Africa region:...

The establishment of the African Medicines Agency will significantly contribute to the improvement of healthcare delivery across the continent and better overall health of...

Heating up: Here’s how climate change works

Too much greenhouse gases going into the air from burning coal, oil and gas make the atmosphere warmer than it should be. This causes global weather patterns to change, aka climate change. Watch this animation to learn more.

‘The future is frightening.’ Why climate change makes young people think twice about having...

The climate crisis is bad for people’s mental health — and it’s taken increasingly seriously at this year’s conference of the parties, COP28. In this interview from Health Beat, Bhekisisa’s monthly TV show, South African climate justice activist, Kumi Naidoo, explains what climate anxiety is — and what we can do about it.

Patient-centred care means avoiding unnecessary risk-taking

At the Hospital Association of South Africa (Hasa), we believe that there is an art to seeing beyond what is, to what could be....

From Oscar to Diepsloot: Why do men become violent?

Bhekisisa and Media Hack Collective's 2021 #SayHerName project, researched what gender-based violence stories make it onto the news.The data backed up what we...

Health Beat #14 | Can we afford to not afford it? Why SA can’t...

Since fewer people are using condoms, we need more ways to prevent HIV. HIV prevention pills are free at government clinics, but the catch is that you have to take them every day. A two-monthly jab and monthly vaginal ring could change the game, but can the state afford them? Watch this Health Beat episode to find out.

#COP28: The spread of HIV has slowed down over the past 30 years. Will...

Experts at COP28 have warned that the climate crisis threatens to put us back in the fight against HIV. Floods and droughts will make it harder to adhere to daily treatment and to access HIV prevention medication, and will increase the demand for transactional sex.

#COP28: ‘You’re negotiating with our health’ — WHO

Health is high on this year’s COP28 agenda, with 65 health ministers attending the world’s most important climate conference. The World Health Organisation is pushing for ministers to get their governments to endorse a declaration that asks countries to commit to deal with the effects of changing weather patterns on people’s health.

Bending the curve: What a decade-long roll-out of the anti-HIV pill can teach the...

What can the roll-out of a two-monthly HIV prevention injection learn from how the daily anti-HIV pill was introduced? Create demand, make the jab easy to get hold of and ensure it’s not stigmatised, write Wawira Nyagah and Mitchell Warren.

Celebrating 10 years of Bhekisisa

The Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism started off as a tiny health desk of three at the Mail & Guardian in 2013. A decade...

Why climate change makes pollution and lung diseases worse

Dirty air makes it hard to breathe. Add hotter days or extreme cold into the mix and it will become harder still, especially for people who already have lung problems. In the latest episode of Health Beat, Mia Malan spoke to Caradee Wright, a public health specialist at the Medical Research Council, about what climate change will mean for people who already struggle to breathe, and what can be done about it.