Features


New smoke signals: Is Big Tobacco using influencers to illegally punt new products?

Joan van Dyk

Could companies’ wooing of social media influencers be just a clever ploy to get around the country’s tobacco advertising ban?


How one project is finally helping reduce the risk of suicide among teens

Jill U. Adams

When kids at risk of suicide can talk to trained friends & family, they're seven times less likely to die, says one of the world's largest studies.


Would you know if the medicine you're taking is fake?

Helen Lock

Armed with blockchain and artificial intelligence, health workers and campaigners are battling the bogus business that kills thousands.


What’s the one thing rape crisis centres in SA & Malawi are missing?

Why the woes facing South Africa’s Thuthuzela Care Centres may not be as unique as we thought.


Ageing and the secrets of our genes

Erika Hayasaki

A rare condition has caused this man’s body to age at super speed. Why?


Should health experts be on Twitter? Here's why it can be your own printing press.

Bhekisisa team

Public health officials and journalists are like two peas in a pot — they need each other.


'The choice is this: if we go we will be killed; if we stay here we will starve'

​Tom Gardner

In the rarely visited town of Gedeb, fears are rife over state plans to return 150 000 people to areas they fled because of ethnic violence.


How to get South Africans to buy into the next big thing in medicine

Nelisiwe Msomi

These ATMs can decrease the number of patients in clinics but health workers are not helping to achieve that goal.


China's overfishing of Africa: The lure and the lies

Hannah Summers

Scientists and campaigners warn that factories in coastal villages are wreaking environmental and economic havoc.


Shots, myths & cash: The perilous road to curbing cancer

Sophie Cousins

Before 2011, this country couldn’t screen for cervical cancer let alone prevent it. Since then everything’s changed.


'This is the first time government has done something concrete for the poor'

Amrit Dhillon

This country tested out a national health insurance. Find out what happened next.


What happens when you can’t fight climate change? You use what you’ve got to adapt

Emilie Filou

In Kivalo, where cyclones, overfishing and rising seas threaten livelihoods, beekeeping offers an unlikely alternative to fishing.


Virtual reality and SA's quest for happier nurses

Nelisiwe Msomi

South Africa's public health nurses are infamous for having bad attitudes. Could a pair of goggles help them change their ways?


SA just endorsed a draft resolution that could bring Big Pharma to its knees

Joan van Dyk

Presented this week at the World Health Assembly, the document could usher in a new era in affordable healthcare. Here's why we need it.


This is what it's like waking up during surgery

David Robson

General anaesthetic is supposed to make surgery painless. Now there’s evidence that one person in 20 may be awake when doctors think they’re under.


This former dictator invented a fake HIV cure, but banned female genital cutting

Momodou L. Jaiteh

Having banned female genital cutting, his ousting was good for democracy, but but bad for women's bodies.


The village where men are banned

Julie Bindel

Inside the Kenyan village that began as a refuge for survivors of sexual violence.


One she called the 'minister of love'. The other? He was the 'minister of finance'.

Nelisiwe Msomi

Since the country’s rollout, less than a quarter of people who’ve started taking the HIV prevention pill are young women — despite high HIV rates.


Why the fight against this weed could pay off handsomely for an energy-strapped SA

Gilbert Nakweya

This invasive plant clogs our dam and rivers but in Kenya, it’s become the next big thing in renewable energy.


Anyone can catch this drug-resistant bug. Surviving treatment is another story.

Kristen van Schie

For years, catching this drug-resistant bacteria meant painful treatment that risked your hearing and mental health. Now, that could be changing.


Football futures hang by a hair

Luke Feltham

The Bafana Bafana coach’s only option is victory, which will propel the team into the Africa Cup of Nations and secure his job


Bosasa to dead toddler's family: If you want answers, you'll have to PAIA us

Joan van Dyk

About 15 years after their son died while illegally detained at a deportation centre outside Johannesburg, this family still hasn't found his grave.


This is what it’s like to give birth in the world’s most dangerous country for moms

Emanuela Zuccalà

When a river and several hours of dirt roads stand between you & the nearest hospital, giving birth can be deadly. One nurse is hoping to change that.


This popular birth control shot is out of stock for the second year running. Read why

Joan van Dyk

Women who have been forced to go without their usual birth control shot are now facing the consequences of months-long shortages.


Banned: 'We are doing the president's work: cleansing the community of gays”

Bolu Akindele

It’s been five years since the country prohibited same-sex marriage and LGBTI gatherings, and the climate of fear left in its wake could be deadly.


How this 19-year-old fell prey to human traffickers

Moulid Hujale

Unsafe in Somalia and unwanted in Kenya, refugees increasingly risk abduction in search of a better life.


Organ trafficking: ‘They locked me in and took my kidney’

Seán Columb

Desperate to reach Europe, migrants from Africa are travelling to Egypt to sell body parts to pay for their passage.


He would ransom the pills for something more precious than profit: His wife’s life

Joan van Dyk

When a few months of treatment costs as much as a house, some patients are taking their lives and the law into their own hands to survive.


“An African man like me depressed?” Why representation matters in the movies

Eromo Egbejule

The continent’s largest film industry has been getting mental health all wrong with dangerous consequences. Now, that’s changing.


Cost of corruption – How a toddler  died at Bosasa’s detention centre

Joan van Dyk

Bosasa bribed its way into contracts. Meet the four-year-old who paid the price.