Head of Department
Prof. Heather Zar - Chair
Professor Heather Zar is Head of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health and Director of the Division of Paediatric Pulmonology at Red Cross Children's Hospital at the University of Cape Town. As a clinician scientist, her work encompasses clinical responsibilities, administration, research, education and training. After specialised as a paediatrician and then as a paediatric pulmonologist, she completed a PhD at UCT on respiratory illness in HIV-infected children.
She has been closely involved in the development of global and African educational and research networks. Her research, focusing on child lung health, uses a translational approach to apply complex technology to clinical problems using a wide range of methodologies. Areas of research interest include childhood TB, pneumonia, HIV-associated lung disease, asthma and the development of a low cost spacer device. She has published widely in high impact journals and has been the recipient of a number of research awards. She is rated as an internationally acclaimed researcher by the South African National Research Foundation and was elected a Fellow of University of Cape Town in 2007. She holds leadership positions in a number of national and international organizations concerned with the promotion of child health including the vice president of the Pan African Thoracic Society and the President Elect of the South African Thoracic Society.
She is strongly committed to the growth, development and transformation of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health through mentorship, excellent teaching and training, improvement of clinical services, integration of clinical and research activities and advocacy.
SCAH EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Prof. Heather Zar
Chair of The executive committee
TEACHING AND TRAINING
Assoc Prof. Alan Davidson
Alan Davidson is the head of Haematology-Oncology at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. His interests are the development of shared care platforms and locally appropriate treatment protocols and he is the outgoing chair of the South African Children’s Cancer Study Group. His clinical interests are HIV-related malignancy, brain tumours and bone marrow transplantation. He also takes a keen interest in paediatric education and serves as the director of postgraduate education in UCT’s Department of Paediatrics and Child Health.
Prof. Andrew Argent
Andrew Charles Argent completed his undergraduate training at the University of the Witwatersrand(MB, BCh 1978). After a medical officer post at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital (RCWMCH) he did his paediatric registrar training in the Johannesburg group of hospitals and completed his post graduate examinations in 1985 (FCPaeds(SA), Med (Paediatrics)).
He received a Medical Research Council Research Training post and worked for 18 months in the Paediatric Mineral Metabolism Research Unit at Baragwanath Hospital. In 1988 he started training in Paediatric Pulmonology and Critical Care at the RCWMCH in Cape Town, and was appointed as a consultant at the end of that year. Since that time he has worked in paediatric critical care and pulmonology at the RCWMCH. During the period 1988 to 1996 he was the paediatrician responsible for child abuse services at the RCWMCH. In April 1999 he was appointed as Medical Director of the Paediatric Intensive Care unit. He was promoted to associate professor in 2002, and to full Professor in 2008.
He has a particular interest in training in paediatric resuscitation (member of the international advisory group for the Advanced Life Support Group (UK), and course director of the Advanced Paediatric Life Support course (UK) in South Africa). His academic work has focused on the care of critically ill children in the southern African context. He has a particular concern in the process of developing integrated programmes of care for children with life threatening injury or illness in countries with limited resources.
Professor Argent is a past president of the Critical Care Society of Southern Africa, and current president of the World Federation of Paediatric Intensive and Critical Care societies.
He is married to Sally (the best decision he ever made), and they have 3 children – Jonathan, Brendan and Lucienne; all of whom have been a source of great joy and pride.
Dr Heloise Buys
Head of Ambulatory and Emergency Services
Dr Heloise Buys graduated from medical school at the University of Zimbabwe. After a short initiation in paediatrics in Harare, Zimbabwe, she left to train further in paediatrics in the U.K. After 6 years of exposure to paediatrics under the British health system from work mainly in district general hospitals, returned to African soils with the U.K. MRCP and APLS certificates.
After a short stint as medical officer in the Ambulatory services at Red Cross Children’s Hospital, she joined the gruelling registrar rotation to complete training as a certified paediatric specialist. Her consultant career was launched at Conradie district hospital where apart from looking after 63 paediatric beds she was also responsible for training Interns, Medical Officers and UCT and visiting Oxford MBChB final year medical students. Following the DOH decision to close Conradie hospital she took up stints at Karl Bremer and New Somerset Hospitals (both then functioning as busy level 2 hospitals) as well as outreach support to Eerste Rivier District hospital.
She became a Senior Specialist at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in 2005 and is currently Head of Clinical Unit Ambulatory and Emergency Paediatrics at the Children’s Hospital. Along with 2 other consultants she oversees a busy unit with 35 000 patients triaged and 7-10 000 seen in the Resuscitation room per annum, a short stay ward with high turnover and a well-used outpatient unit. The whole Unit serves a large part of the Metropolitan area of Cape Town and there are plans for expansion and developing a modern paediatric emergency centre.
The Unit has responsibility for Under-graduate and Post-graduate training. Part of the Vision is to maintain a Paediatric Emergency Unit of excellence.
Assoc Prof. Brian Eley
Director B wards
Assoc Prof. Anthony Westwood
Paediatrics: New Somerset Hospital
Associate Prof Tony Westwood is a General Paediatrician who heads the Department of Paediatrics at New Somerset Hospital in Green Point, and General Paediatrics in the Metro West Geographical Service area for the Department of Health in the Western Cape province. He also chairs the Paediatric Provincial Clinical Governance Committee in the Western Cape province (PCGC) and sits on the national ministerial Committee for Mortality and Morbidity in Children under 5 years (CoMMiC). His areas of particular interest and experience are in health services for children, and how healthcare is delivered to children with long term health conditions. The health service's response to the problem of acute childhood diarrhoea has kept him particularly busy for more than 2 decades. He is co-editor of Child Health for All, a textbook for child health in southern Africa. He co-convenes the new UCT Post-graduate Diploma in Community and General Paediatrics. He has a tendency to write songs about important things in child health such a breastfeeding, diarrhoea, the Road to Health Booklet and IMCI
Dr Steve Delport
Paediatrics: Groote Schuur Hospital
Stephen Delport received his MBChB degree from the University of Cape Town in 1977. He trained in paediatrics at UCT, obtaining the FC Paed (SA) in 1986 as well as an MMED (Paeds). He also completed a BSc (Honours) Epidemiology at Stellenbosch University. Dr Delport currently heads the Paediatric Endocrine and Diabetes Unit at Groote Schuur and Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital. Research interests include pubertal abnormalities, disorders of sex development and diabetes. Committed to health professions education, Dr Delport has convened the 5th year teaching programme of the MBChB programme and also contributes to nursing and postgraduate medical training.
Prof. Heather Zar
Chair of The executive committee
Assoc Prof. Chris Scott
Christiaan Scott is a Paediatric Rheumatologist at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. After studying medicine at the University of the Free State, he worked in paediatrics in Guildford and other London hospitals and then came back to complete his paediatric training at the Red Cross Hospital.
There was no training programme for paediatric rheumatology in South Africa, so he spent a year in Leuven, Belgium, on a Discovery Foundation scholarship in 2008 and time in Genoa, Italy, supported by funding from the Arthritis Foundation and the South African Rheumatism and Arthritis Foundation. He has been in his current position since 2009
Scott is now one of only five paediatric rheumatologists in South Africa, with a special interest in juvenile arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosis. He teaches paediatrics and rheumatology to medical students and has helped to secure funding and training opportunities at the Red Cross and Tygerberg hospitals, aiming to train at least two more paediatric rheumatologists over the next two years.
He is also part of a research team that collaborates with a number of universities across the world, including University College London and Duke University, studies various types of rheumatic diseases, with a special focus on how they affect children in South Africa. He is also the South African coordinator for the Paediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organisation (PRINTO), which runs a number of international collaborative studies.
Dr Scott advocates for children’s rights and equal access to healthcare and is chairman of UCT’s School of Adolescent and Child Health advocacy committee.