Home > APFP > APFP Programme > Overview
African Paediatric Fellowship Programme


Aim |  Background | Activities to date | Future of the program | Outcomes

To strengthen collaborations and long-term Paediatric capacity through building partnerships with key strategic tertiary academic institutions and hospitals in different parts of Africa.

To train medical, nursing and other health care professionals in Paediatrics, both from South Africa and other African countries, to sub-specialise in General Paediatrics and different Paediatric sub-specialities. To return empowered to provide and build health care capacity in their own countries.

The Aim of the African Paediatric Fellowship Program is:

  • To train health professionals who can develop capacity in child health through clinical service provision, training and research
  • To build capacity in Africa to improve child health
  • To empower skilled health professionals


The APFP was established in 2007 in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at UCT. The strategy of the APFP is to partner with as many academic African institutions as is feasible, where there is an identified need. African academic partners are invited to nominate trainees for consideration, based on the needs of the partner institution and the suitability of applicants. In 2010 a Child Nurse Training programme was added to support paediatric practice in the region. Nurse Fellows have the option of enrolling on one of two Postgraduate Diploma programmes, either in Child Nursing or Critical Care (Child & Neonate) nursing. Both of these programmes offer the opportunity of extending study to a Clinical Masters in Child Nursing with the University of Malawi.alth care professionals to use their knowledge gained to lobby for improving child health.

Overview of activities to date:

To date successful partnerships have been established with a number of African academic institutions including:

Institutional partnerships to date:

  • University of Nairobi - Nairobi,Kenya;
  • University of Lusaka - Lusaka, Zambia;
  • University of Zimbabwe - Harare, Zimbabwe,
  • College of Medicine of Malawi - Blantyre, Malawi,
  • University of Makerere - Kampala, Uganda.

In the first 3 years 16 fellows have been trained or are currently in training in paediatric or paediatric sub-specialties. These are in diverse paediatric sub-specialities (nephrology, pulmonology, neurology, neonatology, cardiology, infectious diseases, haematology/oncology, gastroenterology, surgery) or in general paediatrics. The APFP has been highly successful in these initial years, meeting its training targets, with returning trainees in the early phases of developing capacity at their home institutions. Feedback from host institutions and partners, and site visits to these institutions have indicated that the APFP has been effective in creating real capacity where little or none existed, in building awareness and advocacy and in developing research. For example, great strides have been made in Nairobi, Kenya in child lung health, with increased recognition of childhood TB and advocacy for a new pneumonia vaccine that will now be nationally introduced into the Kenyan immunisation program in 2010. Similarly, the training of a Kenyan paediatrician in nephrology has resulted in the establishment of a clinical service in Kenya, which recently performed the first renal transplant in Nairobi. The neurology trainee has just returned to Kenya to establish the first dedicated child neurology service in the government sector. A clinical masters in Child Nursing has been developed with the University of Malawi and the first two PICU trained clinical nurses have returned to Nairobi, Kenya . Child Nurse Practice Child Nurse Practice Development Website APFP project for Paediatric Health and Rehabilitation Therapy The APFP is proud to announce an extension in the program to involve the much needed area of training Rehabilitation therapists.

Future Training Program:

The next 5 years, the APFP aims to:

  1. Train 25 fellows in paediatrics or paediatric sub-specialities
  2. Train 50 specialist paediatric Nurses
  3. Establish long distance communication and follow–up visits
  4. Consolidate and expand partnerships with African academic institutions.
  5. Create an internet based resource for APFP with shared educational materials

Outcomes to be measured include:

  • Number of trainees completing training
  • Number of Postgraduate Diplomas, MMed, MPhil and PhDs awarded
  • Number of research publications with impact factors produced by trainees during and after training
  • Impact in host institution practice, training or research – will be measured by documentation of change in clinical practice, new training programs and capacity developed, research outputs (such as research studies, funding, publications)
  • Number and type of additional host institutions who become partners
  • Partnering with allied health professionals and establishment of training program in allied health professional disciplines
  • Use and growth of the open access electronic resource