Features


Menstruation by any other name: The more than 5000 ways we say 'period'

Roxy de Villiers

Know what The Hunt for Red October is? We’re not talking about the Sean Connery movie, we’re talking about your period.


Dying of the light: How Soweto lost its only hospice

Joan van Dyk

Hospice isn't just a place to die but funding cuts – and that perception – could be killing our chances of a kinder death as refuges close


#FreeToBleed: 'A pool of blood gushed down my thighs. My white socks were red.'

Pontsho Pilane

Shame doesn't start when menstruation begins. It is built in slow steps.


This slashed rates of violence by 70% in some areas. Could it work in SA?

Samira Shackle

In many ways, violence is like cholera, passing from person to person and treating it in similar ways is working to reduce it.


Could you WhatsApp your way to better mental health?

Shola Lawal

A dearth of mental health professionals is leading some people to get creative about counselling.


How a better death starts long before we're dying

Helena Dolny

When one man was on his deathbed, his family knew how he wanted to die and could respect that.


'I was kicked out of our house by his parents', say widows

Will Baxter

If a man dies in the Central African Republic, his wife is at risk of being evicted from their home by his relatives.


This is what life is like in the world's last country to ban slavery

Seif Kousmate

Photojournalist, Seif Kousmate, photographed and interviewed current and former slaves in Mauritania and got imprisoned by police in the process.


Download our easy-to-use safe abortion graphics in 11 languages for free

Bhekisisa team

Abortion has been legal for more than 20 years in SA but many people still don't know when or where they can get safe terminations. These can help.


Abortion in South Africa: A reporting guide for journalists

Bhekisisa team

Bhekisisa's new manual provides handy information on abortion data in South Africa, how procedures work and what the law says.


The future of water: From your toilet to your tap and back again

Thalia Holmes

The reality is many of us look at water like we do a takeaway container.


Obesity: Is eating slap tjips as bad as smoking?

Adri Kotze

For millennials, it ain't looking good, but are hard-hitting campaigns just fat-shaming and counterproductive?


'No sex, no coffee, no ARVs': Former president's quackery could land him in court

Adri Kotze , Momodou L. Jaiteh

Former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh will be the first African head of state to be tried for violating the rights of HIV-positive people.


Local is lekker: This African innovation could save hundreds of babies each year

Justus Wanzala, Adri Kotze

Every year, hundreds of thousands of children die gasping for air. This could help to change that.


Slice of Life: 'I shared my abortion experience on Facebook and it went viral'

Nelisiwe Msomi

A horrifying experience at an illegal abortion provider led Gaopalelwe Phalaetsile to use social media to help women access safe abortion services


Death and dignity: How KZN strips cancer patients of their pride

Joan van Dyk

Terminally ill patients in the province have little access to pain relief, or basic care. Here's one man's story.


#LifeEsidimeni: What will the Gauteng government be forced to pay?

Bhekisisa Reporters

The families of the nearly 150 mental health patients who died in the Life Esidimeni tragedy will know today how much they will be compensated.


Listeria outbreak over: Your polony is safe, now meet the scientists you can thank

Joan van Dyk

SA's listeria epidemic is over. Take a look at the detectives who traced the epidemic's source in this feature from our archives.


#Listeriosis: Meet the family that lost two loved ones

Pontsho Pilane, Mia Malan

Long before red flags were raised, this family fell victim to listeriosis. And this week, tragedy has struck again.


Vaccines in the time of cholera: Inside the new fight against an old foe

Why the world is just waking up to the power of immunisations to tackle this infectious disease and how we’re learning more with every rainy season.


Captured, raped, ransomed: The kidnappers preying on teenagers far from home

Sally Hayden

When Ella and her cousin reached a refugee camp in Sudan, it seemed to herald safety. Instead, it was the start of an all too familiar ordeal.


A grim anniversary: Hundreds of clinics close as Trump’s gag rule turns one

Ryan Lenora Brown

Governments and even anonymous do-gooders are stepping into fill the funding gap left by the US decision, but their pockets will never be deep enough.


‘Cancer I could deal with. Losing my breast I could not.’

Joanna Moorhead

For those with breast cancer, a mastectomy may seem like the best option. But Joanna Moorhead is glad she chose less extensive surgery.


Can you can turn yourself into a broccoli-loving, marathon-running genius?

Will Storr

We used to believe our brains couldn’t be changed. Now we believe they can – if we want it enough. But is that true?


Listeria: Follow SA’s medical sleuths as they chase a killer in a race against time.

Joan van Dyk

SA's listeria epidemic is over. Take a look at the detectives who traced the epidemic's source in this feature from our archives.


Women forced into sex to pay hospital bills, study says

Kate Hodal

Patients too poor to settle medical debts are chained to drain pipes, starved and abused in health centres across parts of Africa.


Myths and methadone: Will Egypt’s laws bend to the rising tide of drug abuse?

Ati Metwaly

The real revolution is yet to come when it relates to the country’s opioid epidemic.


Curbside counselling? These 'friendship benches' bring mental health closer to home

Ranga Mberi

One in four Zimbabweans suffers from mental illness, but untrained female health workers are setting a new benchmark for the treatment of patients.


#SizaMap: Find a safe, legal abortion near you with this list of designated providers

Bhekisisa team

Until now, the national and provincial health departments have not been able to say where services are provided. Here's how we found them.


Gasping for breath: Pneumonia's deadly toll

Karen McVeigh

A disease that claims the lives of two children under five a minute worldwide has hit drought-stricken Kenya hard, its spread driven by malnutrition.