African countries face an escalating burden of diabetes. South Africa has the highest prevalence on the continent and the highest number of diabetes-related deaths. The country’s diabetes-related expenditure is also the highest. There’s broad recognition that the rise in cases needs to be curbed to ease demands on the healthcare system. But traditional ways of diagnosing diabetes are cumbersome, which is why there’s been a concerted effort by scientists to find a more nimble approach. Cecil Jack Weale unpacks the exciting work being done by a team of South African scientists.

A great deal of hope has been pinned on COVAX – a global initiative to coordinate the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in an equitable way – to bring the pandemic under control. But it’s not working. Public health expert Deborah Gleeson argues that it’s because the initiative on its own was never going to solve the myriad obstacles to the fair distribution of vaccines. It also needs countries to collaborate urgently on removing the legal and technical barriers to vaccine production and distribution.

Ina Skosana

Health + Medicine Editor (Africa edition)

Diabetes is a growing public health burden. Ververidis Vasilis/Shutterstock

We’re on the hunt for novel ways to assess the risk of type 2 diabetes

Cecil Jack Weale, Cape Peninsula University of Technology

To stem the rise in diabetes, new and innovative methods of risk assessment must be implemented, specific to populations on the continent.

Bienvenido Velasco/EPA

The best hope for fairly distributing COVID-19 vaccines globally is at risk of failing. Here’s how to save it

Deborah Gleeson, La Trobe University

COVAX, the global vaccine distribution initiative, is well behind its goal of delivering 2 billion doses this year due to under-investment, vaccine nationalism and export restrictions.


Fifty years, five problems - and how Nigeria can work with China in future

Abdul-Gafar Tobi Oshodi, Lagos State University; Ufo Okeke Uzodike, Durban University of Technology

Nigeria and China should work more on the relationship between their citizens so that the two countries can continue to have good bilateral relations.

Law protecting interests of South African communities in mining deals falls short

Yolandi Meyer, University of Johannesburg

Traditional leaders do not adequately represent the interests of rural communities in dealing with mining companies.

Business + Economy

South African graduates may be mostly employed, but skills and jobs often don’t match

Nombulelo Precious Mncayi, North-West University

South Africa is producing an oversupply of graduates in fields that don't support economic growth.

Pasha 103: Insights from female breadwinners in South Africa

Ozayr Patel, The Conversation

Women breadwinners believed that their role was viewed as threatening to men, who are traditionally breadwinners.

From our international editions

Netflix’s big bet on foreign content and international viewers could upend the global mediascape – and change how people see the world

Paolo Sigismondi, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

An Italian media scholar raised on American TV assesses Netflix's ambitious strategy to create original productions in Italy, Japan, Brazil and beyond – and distribute them globally.

Floating solar farms could cool down lakes threatened by climate change

Giles Exley, Lancaster University

Earth's floating solar power capacity has grown one-hundredfold in the last five years.

En Français

Cancers, maladies héréditaires, moustiques, cultures : l’édition du génome en quatre applications

Hervé Chneiweiss, Inserm; François Hirsch, Inserm

Du traitement des cancers à l’amélioration des variétés cultivées en passant par l’élimination des insectes vecteurs de maladies, les « ciseaux moléculaires » CRISPR ouvrent de nouveaux horizons.

L’alliance des démocraties envisagée par Joe Biden est-elle possible ?

Nicolas Tenzer, Sciences Po

La nouvelle administration américaine a évoqué la mise en place d’une alliance des démocraties. Le projet semble pour l’heure bien vague. Une telle alliance est pourtant nécessaire.


Featured events

The Shona Subject: Who, How, If and Where to After All That - a STIAS webinar by Tsitsi Dangarembga

10 Marais Street, Stellenbosch , Stellenbosch, Western Cape, 7600, South Africa — Stellenbosch University

Sefularo-Sheiham Memorial Lecture on Health Equity

27 St Andrews Road, Parktown, Johanesburg, Gauteng, 2193, South Africa — University of the Witwatersrand

Webinar on the suspension of rights in the fight against COVID-19: What South Africans think about that

Robert Sobukwe Road, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, Cape Town, Western Cape, 7535, South Africa — University of the Western Cape

Webinar: The Impact of COVID-19 on South Africa's Metro's

Robert Sobukwe Road, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, Cape Town, Western Cape, 7535, South Africa — University of the Western Cape

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