About us

African Brain Child

The African Brain Child Initiative is a clinical and research initiative based in the Paediatric Neurosurgery Unit at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and the University of Cape Town’s Neuroscience Institute.


We believe that the secrets of the most complex organ in the known universe can never be unlocked by working in silos. So, we champion an approach that is truly multidisciplinary and translational, blending the best of clinical and basic sciences, enabled through our unique infrastructure, innovative research tools, and dedicated team of surgeons and scientists.


Our unusual combination of a large burden of disease, sophisticated infrastructure, and extensive clinical and laboratory expertise places us in a prime position to be the leading centre for studying the paediatric brain. We aim to change lives through advocacy, capacity building, cutting-edge clinical care, and innovative research. Through discovery, we aim also to change the way children are treated across the world.

African Brain Child logo


The vision of the African Brain Child Initiative is an Africa where children with conditions that affect their brain can maximize their potential. These conditions, which include trauma, infection, and cancer, are the leading causes of death and disability for children not only on our continent but across the world.


"An Africa where children with conditions that affect their brain can maximize their potential."


From grassroots to blue skies: we undertake innovative, translational neuroscience research to improve the lives of children with brain injuries and advance our understanding of brain function and potential, for Africa and beyond.


We believe we can dramatically improve the outcomes of children living with brain conditions, but only with a deeper understanding of how the brain responds to the environment, injury, and the methods we use to heal it.


In this mission we have adopted an interdisciplinary, translational approach which combines a sophisticated clinical infrastructure of multimodality brain monitoring, high frequency physiological data and site-of-disease sample collection with cutting-edge laboratory techniques.


We focus on children but believe one cannot understand the adult brain without understanding how it developed.