Patients Referral Guidelines:
Ideally from paediatricians - faxed referral accepted, telephone consultations for doctors can be arranged via the neurology clerk (021) 658-5434.
Paediatric Neurology Department
Outreach service operates with regional specialist visits for both training and case assessment.
The service assists with establishing government guidelines aimed towards optimal care in a resource poor setting.
Red Cross Children’s Hospital is the largest children’s hospital in Sub-Saharan Africa. It provides all levels of multidisciplinary care at an international level whilst taking in to account the limitations of being located in a resource poor country.
The neurology service sees rare and complex diseases (epilepsy, neurometabolic, neurodegenerative, neuromuscular disorders).
The vision and mission of the neurology service is directed specifically towards the impact from diseases of poverty, which dominate the service load, i.e.
human immunodeficiency virus type 1
The neurology service is directed towards building and expanding capacity to manage both complex disorders and the neglected diseases of poverty from vulnerable populations.
Dedicated clinics have established large cohorts of children from the Sub-Saharan African population
neuromuscular disease n=500
neurocutaneous disorders n=200
Ongoing support of the infectious diseases service has resulted epidemiological data relating to the neurological impact of HIV-1 in childhood before and once commencing antiretroviral therapy.
The complex epilepsy service inclusive of the clinical review also incorporates vide EEG telemtry assessment and work-ups for potential epilepsy surgical candidates.
The service operates in the region of 80 clinics a month, with almost 4000 clinic visits a year.
There are 6 dedicated paediatric neurology beds but many more patients are managed on the “general wards” on a referral / advisory basis.
The only centre dedicated to children in sub-Saharan Africa.
The centre trains clinical neurophysiology technologists.
Also exposes practitioners from throughout the country who require insight into neurophysiology techniques, procedures and interpretation.
Over 2000 studies performed a year
It is the only government centre equipped to perform video EEG telemetry on children and as such screen them for epilepsy surgery
Southern African Training Centre
Currently one of two centres in South Africa with a dedicated paediatric neurology training post.
The post follows international training guidelines.
To date 140 trainees fully completed training (now in consultant posts) and two complete in 2020.
The team regard training as an essential way to improve care to children with neurological conditions – we are keen to set up links with other centres throughout Africa and offer training experiences either through attachments to our department or through invited training workshops via the African Paediatric Fellowship Program.
Teaching and training
Staff members contribute to weekly bedside teaching of 5th year medical students and seminars every 8 weeks to the whole group of students assigned to Paediatrics. Ward rounds are used to educate 5th and 6th year students.
The unit conducts regular seminars for paediatric registrars and contributes to the Wednesday morning academic meeting of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health. Ward rounds are used to educate senior house officers and paediatric registrars.
The Neurology unit at RCWMCH is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa as a training unit for paediatric Neurology sub-specialists. Trainees register with the University of Cape Town for this two-year course. Trainees must complete the exit examination set by the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa, a requirement for registering as a Neurologist sub-specialist in South Africa. Prof Jo Wilmshurst is the convenor of the training programme at Red Cross Children’s Hospital. For a more comprehensive description of the training programme please visit the African Paediatric Fellowship Programme Curriculum page.
Research projects are encouraged and the supervisors will facilitate this.