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Department of Infectious DiseasesHead of Department

Professor Mahomed Yunus S. Moosa MBCHB FCP (SA), PHD

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. 

Clinical Activities

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.


The unit is involved in both undergraduate and post graduate teaching as well as continuing medical education. The unit often hosts medical officers, foreign doctors/medical students from CAPRISA at ward rounds and clinics.


2nd, 3rd and 4th year students are taught using large group resource sessions. 3rd, 4th and final year students are given bedside tutorials in both ID and general medical topics. Teaching ward rounds on general medicine and ID are held at King Edward hospital on intake days.


The Department participates fully in the educational activities of the Division of Medicine. Topics in infectious Diseases are covered in the journal clubs and basic sciences meeting held in the Department of General Medicine.


The Department has also forged close links with the Centre for AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) and collaborates with them on their HIV and TB treatment trials including: SAPIT – Starting Antiretroviral Therapy at 3 Points in TB Therapy. START trial- A randomised clinical trial to asses the effects of integrated tuberculosis and HIV care on the incidence of AIDS defining conditions on mortality in participants co-infected with TB and HIV. AACTG trials – currently involved with the regulatory and protocol implementation phase of ACTG 5221.

A self initiated study “Diagnosis of Smear Negative HIV associated Pulmonary Tuberculosis: Comparison of Swallowed Sputum Sample Obtained by an Enteric Capsular Device with Induced Sputum”: will form the basis of Dr. Sahid’s’ Masters of Medicine degree in Infectious Diseases. The major goal of this study is to evaluate a novel method of obtaining sputa in HIV positive patients with smear negative TB. Funding has been approved for this study and it is expected to begin within the next few months.

A collaborative research endeavour entitled “Epidemiology and Immunogenetics of Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome (IRIS)” between the Department of HIV and Genitourinary Medicine at Kings College London, Enhancing Care Initiative at UKZN and the Department of Infectious Diseases is currently in progress. This study will form the basis for a PhD for Dr. Lewis Haddow who is currently based in the Department of Infectious Diseases as Honorary Lecturer. The goal of the study is to assess the incidence, clinical spectrum, clinical presentation and risk factors for the development of IRIS in the setting of a large antiretroviral treatment rollout setting in an area with a high burden of opportunistic infections. The study is expected to extend into early 2008.

International Collaboration
Close collaborations have been formed with:

Partners AIDS Research Centre at the Massachusetts General Hospital: Division of Infectious Diseases in the form of participation in HOPE conferences and arranging workshops and training in the management of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Department of HIV and Genitourinary Medicine at Kings College London in the form of a study on Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome.

Academic Meetings

 Mon   08h00– 14h00   Infectious Disease Specialist Clinic 
 Tues  08h00–09h00  Research Update – DDMRI Tues
 Tues  14h00–15h00  HOPE Conference (alternate Tuesdays)* 
 Wed  08h00–9h00  ID Basic Sciences/Journal Club
 Thurs  08h00–9h00  HIV/AIDS Seminar – McCords Hospital
 Thurs  14h00–16h00  ID/Microbiology Academic Meeting
 Fri  08h00–09h00  ID/Microbiology Problem Round

*The HIV Online Provider Education (HOPE) Conference: A collaborative initiative involving health care professionals in the United States, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Using internet-conferencing technology a twice monthly seminar/case presentation is held.


Academic Staff

  • Prof M Yunus S Moosa

Support Staff

  • Ms Faith Coetzee

Contact Us

Physical Address Postal Address
Room 319
3rd Floor
Medical School
719 Umbilo Rd
Department of Infectious Diseases
Medical School
Private Bag 7
South Africa

Tel: +27(0)31 260 4368
Fax: +27(0)31 260-4756 

E-mail: Mrs Julian Faith Coetzee (

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