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Department of Paediatrics and Child Health

Paediatric Nephrology

The Paediatric Nephrology Unit provides a service for all children with acute and chronic kidney disease in the Gauteng area north of the Jukskei, and Mpumalanga province. Patients often have to travel large distances to the clinic, but the good side is that they always get to see the same doctor for their entire period of follow up - for some it may mean for their entire childhood, until they have to move on to the Adult Clinic. This service in a public hospital clinic is seldom possible, as doctors usually move on or there are many doctors who share clinic responsibilities.

The unit provides acute and chronic renal replacement services for patients with renal failure. Renal transplantation requires a dedicated team of medical professionals and support services, including a paediatric transplant surgeon, paediatric nephrologist, psychologist, pharmacist, dietician, social worker and immunologist, chemical pathologist who can all work together to make the transplantation a success. There is no such team at SBAH and because of scarcity of donor organs the experience is better limited in Gauteng to two centres. Children who require transplantation are therefore referred to the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital or to the Wits Donald Gordon Hospital (via the Morningside Children’s Kidney Treatment Centre). One of our little patients, a 6-year-old girl received a successful heartbeating cadaver donor renal transplant at the Wits Donald Gordon Hospital. She was already discharged home after one week.

The vision and mission of the unit is to:

Go beyond the call of duty; Living up to the Pledge of Service / Batho Pele Principles; Positive attitude towards patients / customers; Positive attitude towards colleagues; Effective management of the work environment; Contribution to team work.

Current research topics in the unit include:

  • The etiology, complications, progression and outcome of chronic kidney disease in children in two paediatric nephrology clinics in Gauteng, South Africa.
  • Beta-2-microglobulinuria: A cross-sectional study of human immunodeficiency virus infected children” (Dr P Sigwadi and Prof G. van Biljon) for which the researchers have received sponsorship from International Society of Nephrology.

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Useful Links

  • International Pediatric Nephrology Association
  • Clinical Pediatric Nephrology
  • Pediatric Nephrology
  • The European Society for Paediatric Nephrology