The Department of Infectious Diseases came into being in the early 1990’s under the leadership of Professor Vinod Gathiram. The impetus for the creation of the department was the need for academic leadership to address the emerging HIV/AIDS epidemic. Professor Vinod Gathiram’s untimely death was a major blow to the development of the specialty at University of KwaZulu Natal. The then head of the Department of Medicine, Professor Umesh Lalloo, managed the Department of Infectious Diseases until the post of Chief Specialist was filled in 2004. Currently, the unit consists of 2 full-time Consultants, one honorary lecturer, one medical officer and a Registrar in rotation from the General Medicine pool. All clinical services are currently undertaken at King Edward VIII Hospital.
The Infectious Disease Department works closely with the Department of General Medicine at King Edward VIII Hospital and subspecialty departments at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital. The Department is involved with the care of inpatients and outpatients with infectious disease issues such as HIV/AIDS and associated opportunistic infections, tuberculosis in all its forms, including drug-resistant tuberculosis, antiretroviral and antituberculous-drug-related toxicity, malaria, typhoid, infective endocarditis, nosocomial sepsis, etc.
The Department also runs an Infectious Diseases Specialist clinic on Monday mornings where patients with complicated infectious diseases related issues are assessed and managed.
Close links are maintained with the Antiretroviral Rollout Clinic at King Edward VIII Hospital (Philani Clinic). In collaboration with the Philani Clinic the Department has implemented a system that facilitates the commencement of antiretroviral treatment for inpatients that are debilitated.
The Department provides telephonic assistance to rural, district and regional level hospitals in the Eastern Seaboard of KwaZulu Natal taking question and queries concerning HIV /AIDS and tuberculosis. Patients with complex clinical problems are often taken over for management by the Infectious Diseases Unit.
Professor Mahomed Yunus S. Moosa MBCHB FCP (SA), PHD