Unit Profile | Clinical Activities | Teaching and Training



     Dr Shirani Naidoo

     Dr Tamara Kerbelker
Medical Officers: Dr Ilhaam Abrahams
  Dr Jaclyn Dorgan
  Dr Lauren Kingston-Radloff
  Dr Bibi Onoya
  Dr Donne Swift
  Dr Salome Wentzel
  Dr Madeleine Wiggelinkhuizen


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 Ambulatory and Emergency 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.

A long awaited upgrade and expansion of a unique paediatric emergency centre is underway and will be commissioned in January 2022. An improved and upgraded resuscitation unit for acute paediatric emergencies as well as injured children. There will be a expanded common triage area, dedicated burns and plaster of paris casting service. A new urgent care area with short-term holding for dehydrated children.  A dedicated breast-feeding room.  

A unique dedicated Paediatric Child Protection Centre will be commissioned to offer care to victims of trauma and abuse which cannot be offered anywhere else.  it will be affiliated to the University of Cape Town and as such embraces and upholds moral excellence in the pillars of clinical excellence and academic teaching, learning and training, research, leadership and social responsiveness with regard to this horrendous social problem. 


  • Clinical support to level 1 and 2 hospitals and Metro West.
  • 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 APFP fellows 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 currently use the South African triage scale for triage and sorting which incorporates the WHO ETAT guideline.

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

For other referral pathways please click here

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 Clinical Emergency care through the African Paediatric Fellowship Programme at the University of Cape Town.  These trainees spend one year training in the paediatric Ambulatory and Emergency services. The unit also provides supervision and mentorship to a number of post graduate students undertaking Masters or PhD projects.