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Is it cheers to saying cheers? Why science says no to drinking alcohol

Thirty years ago, having a drink or two every day was thought to be good for your heart — thanks in part to the so-called French paradox. But research now shows that even a little alcohol can up the chance of developing some types of cancer.

Can South Africa stop cervical cancer in the next 40 years?

About 10 000 women in South Africa get this cervical cancer every year. But it can be prevented by getting a vaccine against the human papillomavirus, which causes this type of cancer. The government wants to wipe out cervical cancer by 2063 — like Australia is on track to do by 2030. Here’s how.

A race to the bottom: Does SA’s new tobacco Bill have enough teeth to...

Tobacco ads have been banned in many countries for years, but Big Tobacco is finding ways to get around the rules — like partnering with Formula 1 to punt their new products to a global audience. Could South Africa’s new tobacco Bill put an end to racing on our screens?

Big hospital, big boss — Bara ICU’s Rudo Mathivha retires

In July, Rudo Mathivha handed in her notice at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, ending a rightly celebrated 25-year stint as head of the intensive care unit. It was after a truly terrible year. Her story underscores the extent to which quality healthcare for the country’s most vulnerable people remains at the mercy of the indifferent and the corrupt.

From start to finish: Five lessons for making mRNA jabs

The global rise in tuberculosis cases is showing no signs of slowing down. The need for a new vaccine is as urgent as ever, and now a local pharmaceutical company is joining the race to find one. Find out more about the work they did to propel themselves into this position.

From Moshi to Moscow: How a girl from the slopes of Kilimanjaro became Tanzania’s...

In 1969, Esther Mwaikambo became Tanzania’s first female doctor. Today, she is arguably also the country’s most famous. She tells Sean Christie how public healthcare in Africa has changed — and what she wishes for the future.

#UNGA78: What the NHI means for universal health coverage in SA

The third day of high-level meetings at the 78th United Nations General Assembly is dedicated to talks on universal health coverage. In South Africa, this means talking about the proposed National Health Insurance fund — something that’s getting people hot under the collar. We’ve put together a one-stop page with information to support constructive debate.

[WATCH] How anti-cervical cancer jabs work

Most cervical cancer cases are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which spreads through sex. Anti-HPV injections have been around since 2006 and getting the jab as a teenager can stop cervical cancer in about nine out of 10 women later in life. We break down how they work, what they cost and why they save lives.

[WATCH] This nurse wants to stop cervical cancer in Hammanskraal

Nurse Tebogo Seleka does about 100 cervical cancer tests a month. One in ten patients test positive. This could be avoided if they were vaccinated against the human papillomavirus which causes this cancer. Our TV team travels to Hammanskraal near Tshwane to find out how Seleka is using jabs to stop cervical cancer in her community.

The heat is on: Why climate change will leave you gasping for air

Our burning fossil fuels makes the Earth warmer, causing weather patterns to change. In areas with lots of air pollution, this can make it even harder for people with lung diseases to breathe. And those who have least, will be affected most.

Right of reply: “It’s far more complex” — the health department responds to one...

Will the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme make things worse rather than better? Here’s the response to this question from the head of the NHI, Nicholas Crisp.

Why so many government patients get cervical cancer — and what to do about...

Thousands of South African women die of cervical cancer, caused by the human papillomavirus, every year. But it needn’t be so: it’s preventable and treatable — if caught early enough. Gynaecologic oncologist Langanani Mbodi explains to Mia Malan what can be done to help government patients.

Health Beat #11 | Why do more Black SA women get cervical cancer than...

Cervical cancer affects more Black women in South Africa than any other race. Why? They mostly use state health facilities which means less screening and delayed surgeries. In this month's Health Beat, we find out why cervical cancer is a political disease and travel to a Tshwane clinic where a nurse is convincing parents to get their girls vaccinated against this type of cancer.

How lessons from HIV programmes are keeping diabetes and cancer patients alive 

HIV home visits in a Malawi village worked so well that the same visits are not also being used for conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.

What goes into your medical aid premium — and what it means for the...

Pooling funds to cover people’s medical bills makes sense — but only if the funds are managed well. Here’s what actuaries and economists look at when calculating your monthly premium — and what it could mean for the proposed National Health Insurance plan.

The health department’s NHI branch appoints two new chief directors. Here’s what you need...

The appointments for the heads of two more of the five directorates of the National Health Insurance (NHI) were approved on Monday. These two positions will oversee user and service provider management and healthcare benefits and provider payment design. In the latest episode of Bhekisisa’s monthly TV show, Health Beat, Mia Malan asked the health department’s Nicholas Crisp and Sasha Stevenson from Section27 how the NHI will play out.