The field of clinical neurosciences at the University of Cape Town comprises neurosurgery, neurology, neuropsychology and neuropsychiatry, together with various allied specialties such as neuroradiology and neuropathology. A recent initiative, the Clinical Neurosciences Institute, has been convened with the goal of bringing together neurosurgeons, neurologists and neuro-psychologists that collaborate in the treatment of a number of major causes of brain injury, including stroke, central nervous system infection and trauma, as well as emerging areas such as functional neurosurgery. Our aim is to foster greater collaboration through relocating the academic activities of these disciplines to the same building. A number of individual donors have already pledged capital grants that will initiate the renovation and refurbishment of J-Block at Groote Schuur Hospital. The Institute will function as an integrated and co-ordinated unit to manage the throughput of state patients who have neurological diseases requiring multi-disciplinary input.
Eden District Health Sciences Platform
(Fundraising needs: Endowment)
Increasing the number of health sciences students and expanding the exposure that senior students receive in their training are two objectives of the Eden District Health Sciences Platform. The project involves a placement teaching and service facility at the George and Oudtshoorn hospitals in the Eden District where final year students join the clinical teams at these hospitals and contribute to service delivery while learning hands-on. The benefit is therefore twofold since students are exposed to a wide range of health challenges in a more rural setting, while these medical institutions benefit from the added expertise that accompanies the transition of a non-academic hospital to an academic hospital. With the movement and accommodation of senior students away from the Health Sciences Faculty base in Observatory, Cape Town, space is then available for the faculty to admit a larger cohort of students in the first year and ultimately increase the number of health care practitioners that the university produces.
Forensic Pathology Institute
(Fundraising needs: Capital & Equipment)
South Africa's high crime rate and a lack of sufficient resources in forensic pathology have given rise to excessively high rates of unsolved murder cases. Unanswered questions surrounding the death of loved ones, is a harsh reality that thousands of citizens face every day. In the Western Province Metro region alone, over 6000 cases per year are presented for examination, an exorbitant load that is shared between only two forensic pathology laboratories. The University of Cape Town's Forensic Medicine Department, under the leadership of Prof Lorna Martin, has undertaken to set right this injustice to the dignity of crime victims through the establishment of a new Forensic Pathology Institute. The facility is poised to be more than just a mortuary. It will allow for pathologists to be trained and work as expert consultants to investigators, courts, prosecutors and defence counsel. In this way, the Institute will provide an improved quality of response to those who seek answers regarding the untimely death of their loved ones. The new facility will also enable many unsolved or cold cases to be reopened and investigated with the latest technology and expertise.