In yet another first for the continent, the University of Cape Town (UCT) – in partnership with the Western Cape Provincial Government – has opened a groundbreaking multidisciplinary Neuroscience Centre at Groote Schuur Hospital (GHS).

The Neuroscience Centre was established to execute inter- and cross-disciplinary research and fast-track novel treatment options for neurological disorders, and is a vital step towards “Africanising” the vital discipline of neurosurgery in South Africa. With state-of-the-art technology and facilities, this centre aims to address South Africa’s heavy burden of mental and neurological disorders.

The centre houses UCT’s Neuroscience Institute, established in 2015, and the GSH’s Neuroscience Clinical Unit (NCU), as well as a biobank, biomedical analysis laboratory, neurosurgical innovation hub and lecture auditorium.

The centre was officially opened on Tuesday, March 10. Speaking at the launch, MEC for Health in the Western Cape, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo expressed her excitement for what this centre will do for “decolonising expertise in neuroscience”.

“We are really proud, and we are excited about the launch of the centre. This is a brain gain and it is in Africa. We have Africanised the discipline,” she said.

UCT Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng echoed Mbombo’s sentiments, saying that this centre will bring world-class expertise into Africa.

“[This centre places] a particular emphasis on the needs of impoverished and developing communities. We are proud that this innovation will serve the public sector through Groote Schuur Hospital,” Phakeng said. “As a university, we want to be a leading power for transformation, not just on this continent, but for the world, including the world of neuroscience.”

Picture: Facebook / University of Cape Town

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