Features


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


Gaming medicine: Virtual reality is bringing real-time relief for chronic pain

Jo Marchant

Virtual reality isn’t just for video games anymore. It’s revolutionising medicine, including the way we manage pain.


A changing birth: What’s behind SA’s skyrocketing c-section rates?

Almost one in four babies born at public hospitals come into the world via c-section but is it costing some women their lives?


Elsa and Nosipho: they both sell sex for a living but in opposite worlds

Mia Malan

Does sex work legislation have an impact on gender-based violence and HIV infection rates? We traveled to Amsterdam and Durban to find out.


Why science could finally be close to solving this birth control riddle

Kristen van Schie

We could be just months away from knowing whether Depo-Provera use is linked to a higher risk of HIV infection in women.


Water in Ghana from pipe to packet: Is there a hidden cost to this low-cost solution?

Shaun Raviv

In a country where pipes can stop short of reaching home, cheap sachets of water sold on the street could be an unlikely solution, but at what cost?


Could this finally solve the Eastern Cape's cancer mystery?

Kat Arney

The substances that cause cancer leave their fingerprints behind. Now, the world may be closer than ever to unravelling the clues hidden in our DNA.


Pregnant? Need an abortion? Here’s where not to go

Pontsho Pilane

Are faith-based NGOs breaking the law when they refuse to give women information on where to terminate their pregnancies?


Acid attacks: ‘I didn’t have the money to buy justice, but I had brains to go on'

In the wake of acid attacks, victims — often women — can feel hopeless. Now, women around the world are fighting back.


This drug could save 25 000 women's lives but could it cost them their babies?

Laura Lopez Gonzalez

Take a look at the newest HIV treatment set to hit South Africa's shores in 2019.


If you possess these 10 qualities, you might be a good fit for a high-stress job

Emma Young

Scientists studied soldiers with PTSD and even children who'd witnessed a great tragedy. Did they unlock the secrets of resilience?


Poisonous haze: Why the air we breathe could kill us

Innocent Eteng

Climate change and air pollution could be conspiring against the continent, and fuelling new levels of death and disease.


Tales from Trumpland: Health workers will be forced to bury aborted fetal tissue

Sophie Cousins

In the war on women's bodies, the casualties stretch far beyond US' 50 states.


Does South Africa need a Human Rights Commission?

Joan van Dyk

History repeats as old health emergencies emerge anew. Is the health ombud the person to lead fights the Human Rights Commission started?


Not a school in sight: Autistic children travel 500 km to learn

Pontsho Pilane

A mother's love led her to South Africa to find a school for her son with autism.


Saved: How drug users gained the power to reverse overdoses

Carrie Arnold

Find out how drug users banded together to use a simple injection to save thousands of lives.


After Ebola: What happens when the virus fades and the NGOs — and money — leave?

Clarissa Sosin

Ebola wiped out nearly 10% of Liberia’s doctors and nurses. Take a look at life for those it left behind.


Old birth rites, new ways

Bhekisisa Reporters

When bringing a new life into the world risks taking another, even old traditions have to adopt new ways.


Speak more than one language? This is what it does to your brain.

Gaia Vince

Speaking more than one language could lead to better tests scores and even being a more empathetic person.


Who killed Ntombizodwa Matthews? Politics, protest & corruption in the North West

Bhekisisa Reporters

A month after she was wheeled out of a North West hospital in a barrow, Ntombizodwa Matthews met her end. Her family blames politics for her death.


Football’s dashed hopes: The teenagers sold a Premier League lie

Pete Pattisson, The Guardian

They thought they were signing up for a dream but it turned out to be a trafficking nightmare.


Black? A woman? Read why you’re more likely to be a victim of online trolls

Gaia Vince

Are social media algorithms designed to prey the mental health of women and people of colour?


These hospitals have become a home away from home in the Maasai's fight against TB

Christabel Ligami, Adri Kotze

When TB strikes, the fight to live can come at the cost of a way of life for the country's nomads. This could help ease the pain.


What do your period and bananas have in common? Find out

In Rwanda, schoolgirls can now buy locally produced, cheaper sanitary towels