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Groundbreaking Procedures:

Early 1960’s:

First Neonatologists in the world to show that ventilation of newborn infants with immature lungs was possible.

1960’s – 1980’s:

Development of innovative solutions for providing non-invasive respiratory support to preterm infants.


First Neonatal Unit in South Africa to offer and teach neonatal digital cerebral function monitoring, and to offer training in echocardiography to neonatologists.


Leading centre in Africa in brain cooling of babies starved of oxygen at birth, which prevents brain damage.


Optimal feeding regimes for preterm babies developed in resource challenged environments.


The development of strategies for reducing infection in newborn babies, serving as a national example in Neonatal care.

HIV prevention

  • Administering of anti-retroviral drugs (ARV’s) to infected mothers has significantly reduced HIV transmission from mothers to babies.

  • Our Unit has well established links with organisations like Mothers-to-Mothers, Milk Matters and other community-based organisations that provide counselling and supportive services to our patients once they leave our Unit.

International recognition and partnerships

  • The Maternity Centre and the Neonatal Unit were the first to receive the World Health Organisation (WHO) Baby Friendly Status Award.

  • Emeritus Professor David Woods was president of the International Association for Maternal and Neonatal Health (IAMANEH) until 2007.

  • The Neonatal Unit is partnered with Imperial College London in ongoing innovative research projects.

Training, education and research

  • 11 Post Doctorate (PhD equivalent) graduates and well over 200 publications produced to date.

  • Academic and educational lectures delivered regularly at National and International level.

  • Training of the first Neonatologist in South Africa to sit and pass the South African Neonatal Subspecialty Exams at its implementation in 2003.

  • Training of 2-3 African Fellows annually.

  • 50 Nurses and Doctors trained annually from across the country.

  • Links with many major academic institutions in Africa and the rest of the world.

Fundraising history

Through the establishment of the Newborns Groote Schuur Trust, an active role has been played raising funds for the Neonatal Unit, greatly reducing pressure on both GSH provincial funding.

         2008                      Carl & Emily Fuchs Foundation start up grant of R1.5 million                  

         2009                      Corporate and Trust Donations R500 000                       

         2010                      R1.2 million raised

         2011                      Incubator campaign funding R2 million raised

         2012                      Incubator campaign R2.5 million raised

         2012                      LINC/UNICEF Outreach Programme & Help our babies breathe campaign R200 000 raised

         2013                      Commencement of our refurbishment fundraising campaign