The unit began as the Children’s Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Unit (KID-CRU) in January 2002 and officially opened in September 2003 as a clinical trial unit.


It was established through external funding as a result of four simultaneously successful funding applications between 2000 and 2002, which provided the initial essential infrastructure and personnel. The original focus was on HIV and tuberculosis co-infection in children and their mothers.


Over time, the scope has broadened to include other infectious diseases. To accommodate the inclusion of adults in January 2013 through a successful application to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), KID-CRU’s name changed to FAM-CRU.


Current sites:


a. FAM-CRU’s main center is situated in Ward J8, immediately adjacent to the Family Clinic for HIV (H8) in Tygerberg Academic Hospital.
b. Michael Mapongwana – modular clinic (from 2007)
c. Kraaifontein Community Health Center -modular clinic (from 2014)
d. Worcester Provincial Hospital – modular clinic (from Nov 2017)


FAM-CRU is situated within the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health (OU code 1803) within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at SU’s Tygerberg Campus. The Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology made substantial contributions to the maternal research agenda from 2001 and the Department of Internal Medicine to the adult agenda from 2013.


FAM-CRU’s activities align with the three University core activities namely: 1) Research, 2) Teaching and Training and 3) Service to community. A fourth core activity is transfer of knowledge into policy, management and practice (through research).

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