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Opinion

The Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Bhekisisa is one of only a few media outlets in the Global South specialising in solutions-based narrative features and analysis. We not only uncover problems but also critically evaluate the solutions meant to fix them. It’s an approach we also take with our opinion pieces.

What makes a good op-ed? What can I expect from the editing process? Who do I pitch a possible opinion piece to? Get the answers to all these questions along with some handy writing tips here before you make a submission.

Rape, time & place: How to understand SA’s geography of violence

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Simply identifying hotspots doesn’t explain why some places report more gender-based violence than others. This limits our understanding of the problem, and our ability to find a solution.
We can get polio out of Africa this year and out of every country in the world in the next several years, say Bill and Melinda Gates.

Four factors blocking medicines made in Africa

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Setting up a continent-wide medicines regulator in Africa could be key to getting the continent’s people the treatments and COVID vaccines they need. Here’s why more countries need to put their weight behind it.

We say goodbye to South Africa's 'people's doctor', Sindi van Zyl

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South Africa lost one of its most prominent HIV doctors, Sindisiwe Van Zyl this weekend due to COVID-related complications. She’ll be remembered for her ability to make HIV and reproductive health knowledge accessible to her hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers.

‘No respecter of persons’: Why COVID-19 variants don’t recognise vaccine passports

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As long as the coronavirus is still circulating in many parts of the world, mutations will continue to occur. This means that herd immunity in any individual country may be thwarted by new variants that can bypass the protections offered by current vaccines. Here’s why worldwide vaccination needs to happen as quickly as possible.

Vaccine misinformation: What to do when it’s coming from leaders

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Refuting lies about vaccines peddled by those in leadership positions may be less about trying to change their minds and more about protecting those who might be listening.

Who should get the COVID-19 vaccine first in South Africa?

Now that the world has its first effective COVID jabs, the next challenge we have to tackle is who gets them? Here’s why the public could be key to answering this complex question in South Africa.

SA & India took a stand for COVID-19 patients everywhere. Here’s why African leaders...

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Developing nations have the capacity to scale up their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic but they're continually hamstrung by barriers set up by Big Pharma.

Rape increases your long-term risk of contracting HIV. Here’s what could fix that

Trauma care for rape survivors in South Africa has been crucially underfunded — and now there’s evidence of the HIV-related consequences.

Madness in the method: Why government’s GBV ‘hot spots’ are really ‘not spots’

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The police recently announced 30 gender-based violence hot spots to which additional resources will be directed to address violence against women. But the methods they used to identify these areas are flawed —and the hot spots might be elsewhere.
[WATCH] Busted: Three myths about drug addiction

A safe retreat from the war on drugs

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The threat of punishment and discrimination doesn’t drive people to quit or avoid drugs, but rather to hide their use, including from their doctors. There is a better way, and jurisdictions like the US state of Oregon may have found it.
A new online tool lets you calculate your chances of falling pregnant via IVF.

Women can wait up to two months to find out if their babies have...

The world has more than halved the number of babies who contract HIV from their mothers in the last two decades. But in some places, rates of mother-to-child transmission of HIV are rising again and we don’t have a moment to lose when it comes to diagnosing — and treating — babies born with the virus.

From symbols of illness to signs of solidarity: The other disease masks could curb

We now have the chance to use our new mask-prowess to curb the spread of TB as well — but only if we consider keeping masks woven into the fabric of our lives after the COVID pandemic has passed.
Protests by communities

Protests, progress and performance: Here’s what it takes to clean up a provincial health...

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In 2018, protests over alleged corruption in the North West health department literally set the province on fire. Cabinet eventually put six of the...

What developing countries can teach the Global North about how to respond to a...

When it comes to leadership and innovation, there's much that industrialised nations can learn. Nine months into the pandemic, Europe remains one of...

‘How COVID has affected my mental health as a doctor’

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During epidemics doctors face moral dilemmas forcing them to make decisions against their conscience — such as having to follow treatment guidelines designed...

Why many South African mothers give up breastfeeding their babies so soon

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The long-term benefits of breastfeeding for children’s development led to recommendations for its exclusive adoption for the first six months of infants’ lives. But...