Paediatrics Allergology

Short-term attachment

Masters' Programme


ME Levin, MBChB MMed PhD Cape Town FCPaed Dip (Allergology) SA

Honorary Senior Lecturers:
S Karabus, MBChB Cape Town DCH Dip (Allergology) FCPaed SA MRCPCH UK

Associate Professor Part-time:
C Gray, MBChB Cape Town MRCPCH London MSc Surrey Dip (Allergology) (Paed Nutr) Southampton

c/o Jenny Alves
Tel: 021 6585316

See more detail at:

Training in paediatric allergy is based at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in the paediatric allergy outpatient department and in-patient wards. Children are also assessed in the emergency ward and are accepted from, or management care is discussed with, referral centres local and further afield. The department is dedicated to paediatrics and cares for paediatric allergy conditions from primary to quaternary level needs. The unit is currently the only training unit in Southern Africa. 

The service is extremely busy caring for a wide range of neurological conditions inclusive of common conditions primary care allergic diseases (isolated allergic rhinitis, mild asthma, eczema and urticaria) and more complex cases (food allergy and intolerance, drug allergy, venom allergy, chronic urticaria, anaphylaxis, angioedema and others). Food allergy is increasing in prevalence and in severity, with higher numbers of children with severe, difficult to control asthma, multiple allergies and with anaphylaxis.  There has been an increasing demand in all allergy related procedures, viz skin testing, pulmonary function testing, controlled food allergy challenge testing, drug provocation testing and drug desensitisation.  The training is weighted towards clinical exposure and much of the training is through involvement in patient assessment and care. 

Trainees participate as full members of the clinical team. Out of hours attendance is optional, but daytime attendance (08.00-17.00) is essential to attain adequate teaching and clinical exposure time. Only trainees registered for 1 or 2 year attachments will be eligible to be part of active patient care, shorter attachments will be eligible for observation only (see short attachment, 2 year and 1 year training period below).     

All trainees attend regular educational meetings including a weekly patient management and reflection meeting, a fortnightly Allergy Society of South Africa journal club, and fortnightly Allergy in Africa webinars / podcasts.  Trainees present at these fora at least 3 times a year.  Research projects are encouraged and are mandatory for the MPhil degree.  Trainees are encouraged to become involved in the under and postgraduate teaching program providing their own tutorials and teaching sessions for junior doctors, students and other health practitioners.      

The encouraged rotation is the 2 years Master’s program, trainees complete with the Colledge of Family Practice’s Diploma in Allergology, the Academy of Paediatric’s accredited exit examination (the Certificate in Allergology) and a Master’s degree subject to the successful completion of the research component. For specific focused training needs there is a 1 year rotation with the candidate receiving only the College of Family Practice’s Diploma in Allergology.   Short-term observational attachments can be supported but these must have a specific and clear outcome in mind to be beneficial.    


Duration of training:
24 months
Conveners: Prof M Levin (Department of Paediatrics and Child Health) and Associate Professor JG Peter (Department of Medicine)

Admission requirements:
FPG1.1 To be eligible for consideration for admission, a candidate shall:

(a)    Candidates who are accepted for subspeciality training in this training unit are required to register for an MPhil degree.
         Admission requirements for
subspeciality training are determined by the Medical & Dental Professional Board
(b)    Candidates usually write the examination offered by the relevant College of Medicine and, upon successful completion of
         such examination, are granted credit towards Part 1 of the
MPhil in Allergology.
(c)    Candidates who register for the MPhil Part 2 and successfully complete the research dissertation part of the degree are
        awarded the
MPhil degree. Part 2 candidates are encouraged to design their research projects in one of two ways: as a
        project whose scope meets the requirements of the MPhil degree, or as a project which would offer sufficient scope for
        upgrading to PhD studies.

FPG1.2  Preference shall be given to candidates who are currently working in the field of paediatric allergologyand who have
              demonstrated a need for this training to the benefit of their home setting.

FPG1.3  Applicants may be asked to attend an interview or to take part in a telephonic or Skype interview.

Duration of training
FMC11  Two years of clinical training plus one year of research and completion of the dissertation

Curriculum Outline
FMC12  The curriculum outline is as follows:       

   NQFcredits  HEQSFlevel
PPED7043W    MPhil Allergology (Paediatric) Part 1; plus  120  9
PPED7044W    Allergology minor dissertation    60  9
Total NQF credits:  180  

NQF credits and NQF course levels: 
The University is required to align its qualifications with the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework or HEQSF (which forms part of the National Qualifications Framework). In terms of the Framework, the following criteria apply:

  • A Bachelor’s degree of four or more years is at NQFexit level 8 and must have a minimum of 480 credits. Minimum credits at NQF level 7: 120; minimum credits at NQF level 8: 96.
  • Courses with content pitched at first year level are at NQF level 5; those at second year level at HEQSF level 6; those at third year level at NQF level 7; and those at fourth to six year at HNQF level 8.
  • NQF credits: 1 credit is 10 notional hours of learning

Courses for MPhil subspecialisation in Paediatric Allergology:

NQF credits: 120 at
NQF level 9
Associate Professor M Levin
Course entry requirements: None.
Course outline: This training programme forms part of the credentialling process for specialist paediatricians as subspecialist allergologists. The Health Professions Council of South Africa stipulates the training requirements. Candidates undergo training in an HPCSA-accredited training unit in a teaching hospital linked to the UCT Faculty of Health Sciences. On successful completion of training, they write the final examination in allergology of the College of Physicians, and receive credit towards PED7043W. The aim of this course is both to provide foundational knowledge in a range of disciplines that underpin the clinical training in allergology, and to train candidates in the application of such foundational knowledge to clinical allergology conditions and management strategies. Students see patients in the allergy clinics on a daily basis (under supervision initially) and will be required to present cases to their supervisors in the clinical situation and to do formal case presentations at departmental meetings. Clinical competence will be assessed in terms of knowledge and clinical reasoning, and in terms of clinical judgement and decision-making. 

Document Links:
Cert Allerg (SA) Paed Blueprint   
Cert Allerg (SA) Paed Regulations

DP requirements:  In addition to being registered paediatricians, candidates must have completed at least 18 months as a subspeciality trainee in the accredited allergology unit in the teaching hospital, must submit a written report from the head of the institution and programme in which he/she trained indicating satisfactory completion of all training requirements; must submit a satisfactorily completed logbook; must have presented or have been accepted to present an original first-author research poster or paper at a local or international congress, or have submitted or had accepted for publication an original first-author or co-authored manuscript in a peer-reviewed journal.
Assessment:  Candidates write the examination offered by the College of Physicians. The examination includes formal evaluation of the logbook. The Certificate examination has two components: a written component, and an oral/OSCE/OSPE/clinical component. Each of the two components contributes 50% to the overall mark. The pass mark for the overall examination is 50%. A subminimum pass mark of 50% is required in each of the two (written and the oral/OSCE/clinical) components of the examination.

NQF credits: 60 at NQF level 9
Conveners: Associate Professor ME Levin and Associate JG Peter
Course entry requirements: None.
Course outline:  The minor dissertation, prepared under supervision, is a requirement for those senior registrars who wish to graduate with the MPhil degree. Those who choose not to complete a dissertation may still register with the HPCSA as subspecialists after successful completion of the College of Medicine examination. The dissertation must be on a topic in allergology and should be of a standard publishable in a peer-reviewed medical or allergy journal. Students are trained in statistics, in research methods, in conducting literature reviews, and in designing and conducting a self-initiated research project during the two-year training period, and are required to analyse the results, present the work at a congress and submit the research for publication.
DP requirements: None.
Assessment: External examination of the minor dissertation.


(Short term attachments are accepted in the department but require careful planning}. Examples are trainees who wish exposure to secondary level allergy without quaternary exposure or very specialised areas such as food allergy practice, drug allergy practice or immunotherapy. Trainees may benefit from periods of observation when they are deciding how to structure a more formal training program (1 or 2 years). Other trainees attend for short attachments to gain insight into how the service is structured to assess which models could be duplicated in their home setting. HPCSA registration is not attained for short attachments and as such observation only is possible.