Cape Town WFN Training Center: The First Two Years

By Lawrence Tucker, MB ChB

Lawrence Tucker

In 2019, Groote Schuur and Tygerberg Hospitals in Cape Town, South Africa, were jointly recognized as the only WFN-accredited, anglophone Regional Training Center (RTC) in sub-Saharan Africa; and one of only four such WFN RTCs on the African continent. It comprises the divisions of neurology of the universities of Cape Town (UCT) and Stellenbosch as well as the Neurology Research Group at the newly established UCT Neuroscience Institute (

Dr. Desmond Koffie

The Cape Town RTC is widely recognized for the quality of its clinical training, commitment to clinical excellence, and meaningful neuroscience research in the African context. This month, Dr. Desmond Koffie, a Ghanian physician, will become the first WFN-sponsored resident to enroll for the four-year career neurology training program in Cape Town. He will join 14 fellow neurology residents from South Africa, Uganda, Libya, Mauritus, and Tanzania on the rotation. Recent graduates from Namibia, Zambia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique have returned to practice neurology in their home countries, resulting in an active network of neurologists across sub-Sahara Africa centered on this RTC.

Groote Schuur Hospital

The Cape Town RTC training program is uniquely placed to provide trainees with an opportunity to diagnose and manage, under expert supervision, a broad spectrum of communicable and non-communicable neurological pathology, while providing comprehensive training in EEG, NCS, and EMG, which includes both “over the shoulder” and Web-based instruction. Over the past two years, more than 500 neurologists, neurology residents, and neurotechnologists from across Africa and beyond have enrolled for the intensive, six-month, EEGonline distance learning program developed at Cape Town’s RTC with seed funding from the WFN (

Neurology residents

As from this year, in addition to career neurology resident training, Cape Town will offer one-year, self-funded or independently sponsored clinical fellowships in epilepsy (including epilepsy surgery), infectious neurology, stroke, and neuromuscular disease. These fellowships are primarily aimed at recently qualified neurologists from sub-Saharan Africa (


Lawrence Tucker is head of the division of neurology at the University of Cape Town. Dr. Tucker has had three terms as President of the Neurological Association of South Africa and two terms as President of the College of Neurologists of South Africa.