How Rwanda could become one of the first countries to wipe out cervical cancer
Tens of thousands of community health workers in Rwanda are driving a powerful vaccination programme in the country that could make the East African nation the first country in the world to eliminate cervical cancer.
‘We take the fish out of the water’: Three myths about vasectomies – busted
A vasectomy is a permanent form of contraception for men. During this surgical procedure, the tubes that take sperm from the testicles to the glands that make semen are cut — in about the time of a lunch break.
‘Call me Tumi’: Meet the young woman who heads SA’s medicines regulator
Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela leads the country’s medicines regulator, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra), a public entity few people knew about until the COVID-19 pandemic hit. COVID triggered a noisy scramble for vaccines, tests and treatments that needed to be approved — often embroiled in politics.
Dirty Sprite: The DIY high that keeps SA schoolchildren numb
Codeine is found in mild painkillers and cough syrups, and is sometimes mixed with Sprite or alcohol to make a drink called “lean”.
Naeemah Abrahams and the secret to defeating evil – do something
In the hospitals of 1980s South Africa, Naeemah Abrahams saw how often women showed up battered and bruised, a phenomenon her colleagues didn’t make much of. Three decades later, she’s one of the researchers turning the tide on gender-based violence.
SA’s moonlight sonata: The illegal cash cow draining specialist care at state hospitals
Specialist doctors at many state facilities aren’t showing up to work despite earning millions of rands a year in taxpayer money. The consequences for patient health can be devastating but not everyone agrees on the solutions.
Tongues & other taboos: Why queer sex ed is good for everyone
Lesbian teenagers have a lower chance of getting a sexually transmitted infection, but the threat remains. Even though South Africa’s sex education curriculum includes all the right lessons to help pupils of all sexual identities have safe sex in theory, the information that filters through to them is still up to individual teachers.
“I thought it’s just what fathers do.” How sex ed can tackle child abuse
Thousands of children are abused by someone close to them but are unable to report it, because they’re either too scared or don’t realise they’re being abused. Here’s how training teachers to provide proper sex education can help them.
Kids are having sex. We need to help teen moms, not punish them
Otlotleng Moolikwe fell pregnant after having sex with her boyfriend when she was 13 years old. And she’s not the only one. One in six South African teenagers between 15 and 19 years old have had a child. Here’s how to help them stay in school.
Hell is 16 000 unanswered telephones. The low tech problem blocking abortions
Abortion services only got a national “how to” document for doctors 23 years after termination of pregnancy was legalised in South Africa. And while the new rules go a long way to remove barriers to ending a pregnancy, non-profits say crucial information such as a simple list of telephone numbers is still lacking.
Need an abortion? Find clinics you can trust here
This database shows you where you can find safe family planning services near you. It’s verified two to four times a year by a dedicated team of data capturers and ‘secret shopper’ callers.
Farmers vs. pharmacists: How South Africa’s ivermectin use slips through the cracks
There’s less demand for human ivermectin in South Africa when the country is in between COVID waves. But nobody is tracking how many people may be using the animal formulation.
What it’s like to be hospitalised and diabetic: ‘Vaccination saved my life’
Karyn Maughan lives with diabetes and was partially vaccinated when she contracted the virus that causes COVID-19. But because of vaccination she survived the illness — unlike two of her unvaccinated colleagues, who also had diabetes, and died.
‘If men are these monsters’: Life in the fray of SA’s gender-based violence projects
South Africa is rushing to roll out its first national gender-based violence action plan. But as bureaucracy and the coronavirus pandemic stall progress, violence against women continues unabated. And the hot spots that will receive extra resources, it seems, have been wrongly identified.
#SayHerName: The faces of South Africa’s femicide epidemic
This is an ode to the women whose names made it into news outlets between 2018 and 2020. It’s also a tribute to those who didn’t – the faceless, nameless women whose stories will remain untold. This project is a collaboration among Bhekisisa, Media Hack and the Canon Collins Trust.
Trials, tinsel & tango: Go inside Linda-Gail Bekker’s COVID world
Linda-Gail Bekker says researching infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and HIV is like a colossal round of the murder mystery cluedo. Follow the story of the scientist with the purple pixie-cut from a farm in Zimbabwe to her inauguration as the first African president of the International Aids Society and beyond.