Joan Van Dyk

What the latest Covid-19 stats can tell us — and what they can’t

Covid-19 figures have never captured the full extent of the pandemic, and the numbers are becoming less useful because fewer people are testing

Here’s what will happen in South Africa if the US reverses abortion rights

In the US, the end of national abortion rights could be drawing nearer. In South Africa, laws permit terminations — but the threat is political, not legal

Watch: Why is the tobacco industry comparing vaping to HIV treatment?

Public health experts disagree with the vaping industry’s argument that imposing a sin tax will lead to a similar path of Aids denialism

A sin tax on vapes is not as bad as Aids denialism. Here’s why

Lobbyists pushing for vaping as a way to help people quit smoking insist taxing e-cigarettes like traditional smokes will lead down a similar path as denying HIV treatment to state patients

Transparency tightrope: Why regulators are being taken to court over COVID vaccine

The US and South African medicines regulators have faced legal challenges regarding information used to review and approve Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine

Covid-19 Boosters: Why time is not enough to get people to line up for their next shot

You can now mix and match boosters and also get them sooner. But what’s the science behind it?

Smoke and mirrors: The hazy world of the proposed vaping tax

This is the first in a series of analyses about the fight for the nations’ lungs. Here, we take a look at the tobacco control players in South Africa

Hell is 16 000 unanswered telephones. The low tech problem blocking safe abortions

Abortion services only got a national “how to” document for doctors 23 years after termination of pregnancy was legalised in South Africa. And although the new rules go a long way to remove barriers to ending a pregnancy, nonprofits 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

How South Africa’s ivermectin use slips through the cracks

There is less demand for ivermectin when South Africa is between Covid-19 waves. But nobody is tracking how many people may be using the animal formulation

Why science & research can be hard to swallow: Sputnik V and the giant hamburger of trust

The scientific process is like a hamburger. By examining the quality of each ingredient, you can see how good the end product is. You wouldn’t want mouldy bread or wilted lettuce ruining a perfectly good meal — and similarly you don’t want bad science ruining what could otherwise be a perfectly good vaccine. We look at whether Sputnik V could make it onto the menu.

How not to run a vaccine clinical trial – The Sputnik case study

Russia’s COVID vaccine, Sputnik V, is plagued by a series of red flags and question marks surrounding its clinical trials and results. Here’s how the jab took a shortcut and created sceptics about its underlying science.

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