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Ambulatory and Emergency Services

Unit Profile | Clinical Activities | Teaching and Training


Consultants: Dr Shirani Naidoo
  Dr Tamara Kerbelker
Medical Officers: Dr Ilhaam Abrahams
  Dr Salome Wentzel
  Dr Madeleine Wiggelinkhuizen
  Dr Donne Swift
  Dr Wonika van der Meulen
  Dr Lauren Kingston-Radloff


Contact Numbers URGENT REFERRALS 021-658-5075

APPOINTMENTS (Weekdays: 08h00-16h00)


Unit Profile

Ambulatory and Emergency Paediatrics is part of the General Paediatric service at Red Cross Hospital and provides care which transcends primary, secondary and tertiary levels of care at the largest Children’s hospital in Sub Saharan Africa.

The overall vision is to provide world class Emergency and Ambulatory care following established evidence based guidelines with ongoing research aimed at providing the best possible care with available resources.

The service is staffed by full time Consultants with special interest in Emergency Paediatric Care, highly experienced career Medical Officers and paediatric trainees at Specialist Registrar, Senior House Officer and Intern levels. A large number of Medical students spend clinical attachments in the Ambulatory service.


  • Outreach service to level 1 and 2 hospitals
  • Vigorous Undergraduate and Postgraduate teaching/training
  • Continuing Medical Education and Journal meetings
  • Morbidity and Mortality Meetings and application of CHIP format
  • Supervision of Foreign and local elective students
  • Supervision of Foreign Graduates wishing to gain experience of Emergency Paediatrics in an African setting

Triage and Medical Emergency Unit
The Triage and Medical Emergency unit (MEU) provide the immediate care for the acutely ill and unstable children. We are currently evaluating a triage process employing a combination of IMCI and ETAT guidelines.

All urgent referrals can be discussed with the duty Paediatric Registrar by calling 021 658 5075.

We welcome the chance to discuss referrals to optimise pre hospital care and to enable planned admissions especially where Intensive Care admission is anticipated.

Short-Stay Ward
A short stay ward is attached to the MEU and provides a facility for up to 40  children requiring short term hospitalisation for diagnosis, stabilisation and evaluation. Admissions for acute Respiratory infections and dehydration from Diarrhoeal disease make up the majority of patients. During peaks in the diarrhoea and respiratory infection season overcrowding is a major problem on the Short stay ward. High rates of Tuberculosis, malnutrition and HIV infection make co morbidity a frequent problem.

Outpatient service
A daily outpatient service is run by a Consultant and Medical Officers and provides an area for undergraduate and postgraduate training.

Appointments can be made by calling 021 658 5002  between 08h00 – 16h00 weekdays.

Referring Health Care Professionals are encouraged to use the appointments system and to discuss referrals with the duty Registrar, Medical Officer or Consultant. This may help to avoid unnecessary travel and to expedite the referral process.

Teaching and Training

The unit provides education and training to undergraduate and postgraduate students, including doctors specialising in paediatrics and paediatricians specialising in Ambulatory and Emergency Services.  There is also a post graduate diploma in paediatric Ambulatory and Emergency Services through the African Paediatric Fellowship Programme at the University of Cape Town.  These trainees spend one year training in the paediatric Ambulatory and Emergency unit. The unit also provides supervision and mentorship to a number of post graduate students undertaking Masters or PhD projects.