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Paediatric Cardiology

(Part of the Paediatric Cardiology service of the Western Cape)

Unit profile | Teaching and training | Research 

Staff


Consultants: Dr Rik De Decker rik.dedecker@uct.ac.za
  Dr G A Comitis george.comitis@uct.ac.za
  Dr B Fourie 
(Stellenbosch University)
bfourie@sun.ac.za
Part-time Consultants: Dr. Harold Pribut  
Cardiac Liaison
Nursing Sister:
Sr Charnette Elliott 021-658-5366


Unit Profile


The Paediatric Cardiology Service of the Western Cape is a cross-platform unit that serves patients at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital and the Tygerberg Children’s Hospital.  We offer consultative services and in-patient care is at both sites; children undergo cardiac catheterisation at Red Cross Hospital. In addition, we see newborn patients suspected of having heart disease in the neonatal services at Groote Schuur, Tygerberg and Mowbray Maternity Hospitals. We also work closely with our colleagues in the fetal medicine units as well as in the Adult cardiology services of Tygerberg and Groote Schuur Hospitals. We help our surgical and critical care colleagues care for the patients who have undergone cardiac surgery at Red Cross Hospital.

Our referral base includes the Western Cape and half of the Eastern Cape Province. We run outreach clinics in East London and George Hospital twice a year, in Paarl three times a year and in Worcester four times a year.

Teaching and training


The unit provides education and training to undergraduates and postgraduate students at both campuses, Our cross-platform unit is responsible for the training of specialist cardiologists. It is an HPCSA accredited three (3) year training program with the College of Medicine (SA), Certificate in Paediatric Cardiology exit examination. There is also a programme to train paediatricians from other African countries as part of the African Paediatric Fellowship Programme. These trainees spend from one year up to 3 years training in the paediatric cardiology unit focusing on clinical and echocardiology skills; this allows them to return to their home countries as generalists with special skills in paediatric cardiology. African trainees in the past 5 years include:  Proscovia Mujeere Mugaba from Uganda. A post graduate diploma in paediatric cardiology is available through the University of Cape Town. The unit also provides supervision and mentorship to a number of post graduate students undertaking Masters or PhD projects.

Research


Our unit is involved with the ASAP Rheumatic fever and Rheumatic heart disease program; in addition we are involved in setting international standards for echocardiographic surveillance in screening studies of populations at risk for rheumatic heart disease. We have recently become a pilot centre for the IMHOTEP cardiomyopathy/myocarditis registry.  We have an ongoing interest in the genetics of congenital heart disease.