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When I was a young reporter at a daily newspaper, I covered a lot of domestic violence cases -- the cases that went to court and, sadly, the restraining orders that weren’t enough to keep some women alive. 

Once I met an amazing counsellor who told me her story: For years, she’d shown up at her doctor’s offices with the same battered face and bruises. He’d say nothing, fix her up and she’d go back home to her abusive husband.

I, in my naïveté, asked why she’d stayed so long. 

She continued her story. One day, she said, she left her doctor’s rooms and … miraculously got on a taxi going the opposite direction of home. 

She’d reached, what she’d said, was her “point of readiness”.

“You never know when it’s going to hit,” she told me.

My mother has a saying:

 “Más sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo.” It means the devil knows more because he’s old, than because he’s the devil. 

It would be years before I understood what she meant that day and even more years before I had to find my own “point of readiness”.

When women make the choice to run, it’s often the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship. Today, we look at the men in this mining town that women are turning to when they need help the most. 

Plus, hitch a ride and see how they’re taking a mental health hack once popular on the battlefield and giving it new life on the frontlines of SA’s war against gender-based violence. 

Thanks for reading, 

Laura López González, deputy editor
@LLopezGonzalez

Help us keep quality health journalism and social justice reporting free. Click here.
SPONSORED POST

The Lean Healthcare Summit will inspire the healthcare community to advance lean thinking and practice in their facilities to improve efficacy, free resources, reduce waiting times, impact staff morale, delight patients and save lives. During the Summit you will hear case studies and talks from Lean CEOs and leading international Lean practitioners on meeting the challenges in raising performance in healthcare and related organisations. There will be a particular focus on the African context.

We are proud to host three public sector hospital CEOs as speakers, including Grey Dube of Leratong Hospital, Gladys Bogoshi representing Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital and Groote Schuur Hospital CEO Bhavna Patel. Sharon Vasuthevan, Executive at Life Healthcare, one of South Africa’s top private hospital groups, will also be speaking.

All these leaders have embraced Lean and enjoy the benefit that it has brought to their healthcare facilities. John Toussaint, the keynote speaker, is the founder and Chairman of Catalysis, USA. He is a world-renowned healthcare improvement leader working across the globe, including South Africa. Don’t miss out on hearing more from these local and international healthcare Lean leaders. www.lean.org.za/lean-summit. Contact Mia Faull for more information.
In the shadows of Marikana, sexual violence is no stranger in Rustenburg. (Tadeu Andre)
This year, we've looked at post-rape care from South Africa to Malawi evaluating just how well the world's one-stop models of care really work for survivors. 

And what's one thing most have in common? Dealing with the distance. In South Africa, that means some survivors of SGBV have to travel more than 30km to get care. 

Meet the men on a mission in this mining town who have made it their responsibility to ferry victims to care and how they're putting a new spin on a post-war mental health hack. 

So buckle up and hitch a ride with Doctors Without Borders's (MSF) Kate Ribet. 

Get the full story
Find out how the decades-old concept of psychological first aid is taking on a new life in this mining town — and helping survivors of sexual violence, via @Bhekisisa_MG: http://bit.ly/2Vq8Rxu Find out how the decades-old concept of psychological first aid is taking on a new life in this mining town — and helping survivors of sexual violence, via @Bhekisisa_MG: http://bit.ly/2Vq8Rxu
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, bhekisisa.org and make the anonymous dataset available publically. Submissions marked for public consumption will be made available on our website as well as via nhilibrary.com. The centre would like to thank our civil society reviewers who helped us draft and refine the survey questions

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: http://bit.ly/NHIsurvey Help @Bhekisisa_MG gauge the quality of public participation around the National Health Insurance #NHI. Complete the five-minute survey here: http://bit.ly/NHIsurvey
We've had some new subscribers and we see you Gauteng! We'd like to thank every new subscriber for signing up to read quality health journalism. Welcome.

Noel Makhubele of Mgwena Empire Properties
Ed Young of Eh!woza
Trish Struthers from KwaZulu-Natal
Ingrid Obery of Ingrid Obery & Associates
John Woodland and Vivian Raath of the University of Cape Town
Portia Cele of Wits University
Clive Whelan of Calibre Clinical Consultants (PTY) Ltd
Delphine Darling of Lasec Group
Johanna Bapela, Lerato Makate, Sethu Siwela and Boitumelo Moke from Gauteng
Bulelwa Daku of Johnson and Johnson Global Public Health



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Opportunities from around the web:


District project manager, CHoiCe Trust — Limpopo

The internationally recognised health-focused non-governmental organisation, CHoiCe Trust seeks to employ a district project manager to be based in Limpopo.

The manager will be in charge of overall management and coordination of services and will make sure intervention teams working to provide HIV testing services and adherence club support reach their annual targets with quality services.

The successful candidate will have a bachelor's degree in a relevant field. A post-graduate qualification will be considered an advantage. All applicants must have five years' experience in the health sector with a focus on HIV services and data management and reporting experience.

Deadline: 15 October
Find out more



Call for nominations, Aspen New Voices fellowship

Nominations are now open for the Aspen Institute's New Voices 2020 fellowship. The opportunity offers development experts from across Africa, Asia, and Latin America a year-long programme of media support, advocacy training research and writing coaching.

The institute seeks leaders from countries that are underrepresented in global development conversations. Successful candidates will live and work in the communities they service and advocate for changes they want to see at home. Twenty-five fellows will be selected for the 2020 class of which 15 will be experts in fields such as infectious and non-infectious diseases, food security, mental health, development economics, health and human rights as well as climate change.

The remaining 10 will be experts working on the frontlines of sexual and reproductive health rights.

Deadline: 15 October
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.



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




Public lecture: Harnessing the Immune Response — To measles elimination and beyond, National Institute for Communicable Diseases — Johannesburg

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases will be hosting Melinda Suchard on 4 November at 5.30 pm as part of the Poliomyelitis Research Foundation's 14th James HS Gear Memorial Lecture. 

The talk will take place in the James Gear Auditorium.

RSVP by emailing Irma Latsky or contact them on 011 555 0395




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, bhekisisa.org at the end of the submission period. They will also be made available on nhilibrary.com. We will not include submissions marked as private in the results.

A special thank you to our civil society reviewers who helped us draft the questions!




Call for Applications, Emerging Voices for Global Health (EV4GH)

Young health systems researchers are encouraged to apply for this mentorship programme. During the course of the programme, successful candidates will receive e-coaching as well as in-person training on topics such as scientific presentation, networking and communication. Fellows will then participate in the Sixth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Dubai in November 2020.

Deadline: 6 February 2020
Find out more 




Call for applications, Rise Up: Gender Equity Initiative (GEI)

Rise Up, a leader in the global movement for gender equity launched the GEI in partnership with Cummins Inc. in order to advance education, opportunity, social justice and gender equity in South Africa.

The organisation will select 20 civil society and non-profit leaders from Gauteng and Durban to participate in a week-long advocacy and leadership accelerator workshop in February 2020. The purpose of the workshop is to build their advocacy capacity, strengthen leadership skills and develop a holistic understanding of the issues affecting women and girls in their communities.

Leaders will then have the opportunity to apply for competitive seed funding to launch their strategies to advance gender equity and justice across the country.

Deadline: 28 October
Find out more




Call for papers, BioMed Central (BMC)

Submissions are now open to contribute manuscripts to the following journals: BMC Public Health; Environmental Health; Environmental Sciences Europe; Globalization and HealthMicrobiome and One Health Outlook.

The theme across all journals is environmental justice. Papers should shed light on the contribution evidence-based research can give to develop better practices and policies towards stronger environmental justice.

Submissions can include but are not limited to research on air pollution, sewage management, water systems management, drinking water quality and pesticides.

Deadline: 1 November
Find out more




Call for abstracts, Health Systems Trust

Abstract submissions are now open for the 2020 edition of the South African Health Review (SAHR). The coming edition's theme is equitable healthcare for people with disabilities in South Africa.

The Health Systems Trust is seeking abstracts providing fresh insights into health systems strengthening efforts for equitable healthcare for persons with disabilities. Preference will be given to manuscripts that take into account the complexities and opportunities for developing and sustaining inclusive health systems, especially in the context of universal health coverage.

The review will represent an evidence base which can be used to strengthen health systems and services to inform future policy development in South Africa.

Deadline: 31 October
Find out more




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 kathy@augury.co.za

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 health@bhekisisa.org. 

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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

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