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Opinion pieces by Bhekisisa Contributors

Bundle of jitters: How these community health workers are helping moms cope with the...

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Pregnancy can be a time of joy - and sadness. Many pregnant women and mothers of infants in lower-income communities acknowledge feeling depressed during this time. Here’s how community health workers helped alleviate this.

A confusing COVID caseload: Why Africa’s missing numbers show a different side to the...

African countries are still struggling for COVID-19 vaccines. One reason for this is the misconception that the continent wasn’t hard-hit by the pandemic. But the numbers tell a different story.

From COVID vaccine hoarders to donors: Why rich countries shouldn’t just pawn off expiring...

Rich countries have an excess supply of COVID-19 vaccines. Now they’re either dumping or donating these close to expiring doses. But it takes a lot more to address the issues of vaccine inequity and the supply shortfall in poorer countries.

An inconvenient truth: The real reason why Africa is not getting vaccinated

Pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer have said low vaccine uptake in Africa is due to increasing hesitancy on the continent. But the truth is inequitable distribution of COVID vaccines have left Africa as a vaccine desert.

Bad science goes up in smoke: Why smokers were never protected from COVID

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Early pandemic research pointed to smokers not being at risk of severe COVID-19. This turned out to be false. Here’s why the slow pace of science means it’s easy for people to latch onto extraordinary claims despite a lack of strong evidence.

Can HIV lessons tell us why SA men are so slow to get a...

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Only 40% of South Africans vaccinated against COVID are men. Their perceptions of masculinity, health spaces and their risk to contract the coronavirus, may explain why.

How one policy change could curb two airborne epidemics in South Africa

South Africa must make dramatic shifts in its COVID-19 prevention strategies to include new evidence that SARS-CoV-2 spreads mainly through the air.

Old habits die hard: J&J’s failure to deliver COVID jabs to SA is nothing...

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South Africa is still awaiting millions of COVID vaccines from Johnson & Johnson even though the country contributed to its COVID research through the Ensemble and Sisonke studies.

Poverty, violence and stress: Why South Africa’s young people are anxious

A study in eThekwini in KwaZulu-Natal found that poverty and violence drive generalised anxiety disorder among youth living in urban informal settlements.

Vaccine denialism kills: Mail & Guardian has let down its readers

Those who dispute that the COVID vaccines used in South Africa are safe and effective are just wrong.

Four lessons from 40 years of HIV: Why COVID doesn’t end with equitable vaccine...

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Inequity in COVID vaccine access echoes mistakes from the HIV response. In the forty years since Aids was first identified, there have also been several lessons on how to contain a pandemic. Starting with equity and supporting health systems.

A pandemic without an end: How systemic racism is hampering vaccine uptake

COVID vaccine roll-outs are missing communities of colour. This has been linked to distrust in health services among minority groups due to historical abuse. But that further victimises these communities. Here’s why racism continues to pervade the health system and breed mistrust.

How well is Pfizer’s COVID jab working in SA? We break down some of...

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A local analysis found promising protective effects of the Pfizer COVID vaccine — even among those who had only received one dose. The data from Discovery Health illustrates how vaccination can lower your risk of infection. But even with this promise, the variants circulating in South Africa means we shouldn’t abandon existing safety measures.

‘We only write about them when they are dead’: Hate killings of black lesbians...

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Nearly three decades after South Africa’s first Gay and Lesbian pride march, journalist and researcher Nechama Brodie takes a look at the violent history the country’s black lesbians have endured.

A false sense of safety? Why ending the COVID pandemic doesn’t stop with vaccines

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The world was able to develop COVID-19 vaccines in just over a year. But much more needs to be done before we can end the pandemic.

The Sisonke trial rewrote history. Eight lessons for the nationwide vaccine roll-out

Usually, the gap between designing a study and scaling it up to reach people on the ground takes years. Sisonke did it in a matter of 17 days – and rewrote history.