All the best health stories from
the Bhekisisa team this week
View this email in your browser
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
Share Share
On my way to work earlier this week, I noticed smoke coming from the car in front of me.

This wasn’t a mechanical fault. The vapour was billowing from the driver’s window, who was enjoying an e-cigarette

The vapour that comes from e-cigarettes often smells absolutely delectable, with flavours ranging from cookies and cream to pineapple to cinnamon. 

But scientists know very little about the long-term effects of e-cigarette use

Early studies have, however, revealed that the chemical components that make up those delicious smelling clouds could be hiding something far less appetising, including damage to vapers’ hearts and lungs.

Yet the vaping industry and some researchers have been touting the devices as being 95% safer than cigarettes, and a good way to stop smoking.  

But even that is disputed. 

Confused? So were we. Take a look at this short video that gets to the bottom of this issue and why e-cigarettes are being linked to deaths in the US, all in under two minutes. 

Have you switched from cigarettes to vaping? Let me know what your experience has been at @vandykjoan or drop me a line at

Happy watching, 
Joan van Dyk, senior health journalist

When it comes to smoking or vaping, the idea of a lesser evil is all smoke and mirrors.

If you've switched to vaping because you think it's better for you, you might want to look at the evidence or, rather, the lack thereof.

Our Joan van Dyk and Dylan Bush separate fact from fiction in their latest video.

Watch the video

[VIDEO] #Smoking vs #vaping: Is there a lesser evil? Find out in just under 2 minutes via @Bhekisisa_MG: [VIDEO] #Smoking vs #vaping: Is there a lesser evil? Find out in just under 2 minutes via @Bhekisisa_MG:
Help us keep quality health journalism free. Click here to support our team.
Have 5 minutes? Take our short NHI survey.

Help us gauge public participation around the National Health Insurance, freely and anonymously.

If you’d like to add your voice, take five minutes to complete our 12-question survey. The survey also allows civil society members to upload their submissions to the NHI and whether or not they would like these to be made public.

While the survey is anonymous, we plan to analyse and publish the overall results on our website, and make the anonymous dataset available publically. Submissions marked for public consumption will be made available on our website as well as via The centre would like to thank our civil society reviewers who helped us draft and refine the survey questions

So add your voice to the more than 100 members of civil society and the public who have chimed in with suggestions about how to make the road to an NHI a little better!

The deadline for input is 5 December
Click here to complete the survey
Help @Bhekisisa_MG gauge the quality of public participation around the National Health Insurance #NHI. Complete the five-minute survey here: Help @Bhekisisa_MG gauge the quality of public participation around the National Health Insurance #NHI. Complete the five-minute survey here:
We'd like to welcome our new subscribers! Welcome to quality health journalism.

Mara Franke from Ghana
Amelia Apfel of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
Mary Levin from Maryland, United States
Zoë Cricks and Caitlin Allen from London, United Kingdom
Chinny Ukata from Maidenhead, United Kingdom
Philipp Friemann of The Behavioural Insights Team
Hunadi Nchabeleng of the National Department of Health
Rebekah Goolsby from Texas, United States
Jack Giuliani of the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis
Maria Cheng of Associated Press
Wm Bryan Burk of Utah Public Health Laboratory
Lana Elliott of the Queensland University of Technology
Suzanne Deed from Perth, Australia
Shanon Kok from KwaZulu-Natal

Like our newsletter? Forward it to your family, friends or colleagues so they can sign up themselves.

Did our last newsletter get lost in your inbox? We've got you. Click here to see our past editions.

Opportunities from around the web:

Testing, linkage and retention mentor, Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa (HPCA) — Mpumalanga

The HPCA seeks to appoint three testing, linkage and retention mentors to be based in various districts in Mpumalanga.

The primary purpose of the positions is to manage, coordinate and provide technical guidance to the APACE field team in providing community-based HIV testing Services (HTS) referral and linkage to care and adherence support services.

The successful candidate will have a bachelor's degree in health, public health or a related field. A nursing degree will be considered advantageous.

All candidates will have at least five years' experience in HIV or public health, three years' experience in HTS and the application of testing modalities as well as three years in referral systems and pathways, linkage and retention care. A further two years' minumum experience working in a management or coordination position is also required.

Deadline: 11 November
Find out more

Outreach officers, TB & HIV Investigative Network (Think) — KwaZulu-Natal

The non-profit organisation Think seeks to appoint four outreach officers to be based in uMgungundlovu, KwaZulu-Natal.

The officers will be responsible for supporting the strengthening of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) care and treatment in the district.

The successful candidates will be enrolled nurses with two years' work experience and good knowledge of TB/MDR-TB as a community health facilitator.

All candidates must have a valid code 8 drivers' licence.

Deadline: 13 November
Find out more

Board member, Aids Foundation South Africa

The board of directors of Aids Foundation South Africa seeks to appoint an additional member. The member will serve on the board in a non-executive role.

The ideal candidate will be a clinician or a public health specialist with experience in HIV, TB, as well as sexual and reproductive health. The candidate will also have knowledge of public and / or community health programming.

To submit an expression of interest, applicants can email Khulani Khuzwayo on

Deadline: 18 November
Find out more

Programme manager, FHI360: EpiC — Pretoria

FHI360 seeks to appoint a programme manager for its Meeting Targets and Maintaining Epidemic Control (EpiC) project.

EpiC is a five-year undertaking funded by Pepfar and USAid dedicated to achieving and maintaining HIV epidemic control. In South Africa, the project will be centred around voluntary medical male circumcision. 

The successful candidate will have a bachelor's degree in management, international development, public health policy or any related field. Candidates must have at least five years' experience in programme management of multi-year international health or development projects. All applicants should have previous experience working with US government funding, preferably Pepfar.

Deadline: 8 November
Find out more

Meta-Research for Transforming Clinical Research, What should we change in the way we are doing research, 25 November 2019 — Paris

Organised by the Methods in Research on Research (MiRoR) consortium, this meeting will look at meta-research, for instance, within preclinical studies as well as opportunities for data sharing, including within the pharmaceutical industry.

Other subjects to be discussed include tools and strategies to increase the replicability of studies and new approaches to evaluate researchers. Registration is free, but seats are limited.

Click here to find out more

Call for registration, International AIDS Conference — San Francisco and Oakland

Registration has been opened for the 23rd International AIDS Conference which will take place from 6 to 10 July 2020.

Next year's Aids Conference will mark the first time the world's largest conference on HIV and AIDS will be hosted in two neighbouring cities.

Conference registration has opened two months early to allow delegates more time to apply for visas.

Early registration ends on 15 January 2020. Group registration only applies to five or more people and the organisation requesting a group registration must nominate one group representative who will administer the group booking.

Media registration is free for eligible members of the media who will be attending in their capacity as journalists, photographers, videographers and community educators.

For more information about visa applications, click here.
To register, click here.

Call for public comment, National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill — deadline extended

The Portfolio Committee on Health invites stakeholders and interested parties to submit written submissions on the NHI Bill now before 29 November.

The objective of the Bill is to achieve universal access to quality healthcare services in South Africa as per Section 27 of the Constitution. 

As part of this, the Bill sets up the creation of an NHI Fund and outlines its powers, functions and governance structures. The Fund will be used to strategically purchase healthcare services on behalf of citizens and certain categories of foreign nationals to ensure the equitable, effective and efficient utilisation of its resources.

Deadline: 29 November
Click here to submit your comment
For any inquiries email Vuyokazi Majalamba or call her on 021 403 3770 or 083 709 8522

PS ICYMI: Our recent story about the quality of public participation made some major waves. Now, we've created a survey to help put some numbers behind the narratives.

Take a couple of minutes to take our 12-question survey and help us gauge the level of public participation around the process and possible ways to improve it.

While the survey is anonymous, we'll publish the results on our website, at the end of the submission period. They will also be made available on We will not include submissions marked as private in the results.

Call for female experts in any field, Quote This Woman+ — Various locations

Quote This Woman+ is a project to establish an online database of women and non-binary experts to improve gender representation in sourcing among the media. During the election season alone, Quote This Woman+ fielded more than 500 calls from journalists wanting to increase the voices of women in the media.

Keen to be quoted? Submit your details to

Deadline: N/A
Find out more

Have something to say or an opportunity to share? Let us know. Email tip-offs, comments or story and opinion suggestions to 

Follow us on TwitterFacebook or Instagram for daily updates.
The Bhekisisa Team
Copyright © 2019 Bhekisisa Development Media NPC. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism, Metal Box
25 Owl Street, 4th Floor, Braamfontein Werf, 2092, Johannesburg, South Africa

Thank you for signing up for our newsletter.
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list at any time.

Did someone forward this email to you? Make sure you never miss a story. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter