The hospital

Patients are drawn predominantly from the local community, but also from other provinces where medical assistance is more limited. The hospital sees more than 44,000 child patients each year.

Through its relationship with the University of Stellenbosch, the hospital provides training to doctors from such countries as Libya, Egypt, Congo, and Saudi Arabia.

Some of Tygerberg Hospital’s great success stories include:

  • being a recognized world leader in the diagnosis and treatment of childhood TB and HIV,
  • being the first hospital in Africa to administer life-saving drugs into the lungs of preterm babies,
  • treating the largest number of babies in South Africa weighing under 1500g,
  • being the largest baby unit in South Africa (after Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital).

Despite its medical successes and the commitment of its doctors and nurses, the hospital endures continuous funding shortfalls for several reasons.

In 2018 Tygerberg Hospital had more than 4000 neonatal admissions, but only 128 beds in the neonatal unit – with the result that the beds are turned frequently and the mattresses suffer from a huge amount of wear and tear.

Has the largest baby unit in South Africa, after Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Gauteng (7th largest hospital in the world).

Treats the largest number of babies weighing less than 1500 grams (800 per year).

Is the first baby unit in Africa to:

  • Have administered lifesaving drugs into the lungs of preterm born babies in 1992;
  • Have provided high frequency breathing assistance to critically ill babies in 1993;
  • Begin offering a regular service of cooling down babies after birth-related complications since 2008.

The Tygerberg Hospital, in addition to being the teaching hospital for four South African tertiary institutions, services a large area of the Western Cape with a population over 3.4 million people – the Northern Metro sub-districts, Khayelitsha (north of Spine Road), Eastern Tygerberg, West Coast, Cape Winelands and the Overberg rural districts.

As a public health facility, Tygerberg Hospital primarily serves the indigent community within its geographical drainage area. It is a little-known fact that Tygerberg Paediatrics Department, with 210 paediatric and 90 neonatal beds, are responsible for the care of approximately half of the 2,4 million children living in the Western Cape who require specialist medical care.

Annually, approximately 16 000 babies and children are admitted to the Hospital and in excess of 100 000 children receive specialist medical core as outpatients. It is no wonder that the Tygerberg Hospital and its dedicated doctors and nurses have been in the forefront of innovative neonatal care, for example one of the first in the world/South Africa to utilise the Kangaroo Mother care protocols.