The South African Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (SAACAPAP) was proud to host the first IACAPAP World Congress to be held on the African continent, and doubly proud to have done so during the term of office of the first African President of IACAPAP, Olayinka Omigbodun, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
The International Convention Centre in Durban is one of the most advanced conference facilities in the world. Durban, capital of the province of KwaZulu Natal, is South Africa’s premier holiday destination. The subtropical climate and warm Indian Ocean mean all-year-round swimming and outdoor activities. Several game parks are only a few hours’ drive to the north, and the majestic Drakensberg mountain range, with its holiday hotels and scenic hikes, is only a few hours’ drive to the west.
Let’s begin by clearing up the misconceptions that exist for many people about the differences between a psychiatrist and a psychologist. It’s not uncommon for people to be confused between these two professions. A psychologist has a degree in In the study of the human mind and behavior, whereas psychiatrists have graduated as doctors from medical school and have completed their internship and residency. Psychiatrists are qualified to prescribe medication for their patients whereas psychologists are not. The two both work in the same areas of treatment and often refer patients to each other.
Poverty, unemployment and a history of violence and discrimination in the country are all factors that contribute to an unstable environment for children and youth to flourish mentally and emotionally in South Africa. In poor communities, it is not uncommon for children to neglected and abused by their caregivers.
The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s hospital in Cape Town is the only medical institution in South Africa which is entirely dedicated to the physical and psychological well being of children.
Early in 1964, psychiatrist, Dr Vera Buhrmann, founded the Child and Adolescent outpatient unit at the Red Cross hospital, meeting an urgent need for psychiatric care for children and adolescents in the community. The unit was permanently busy and grew from strength to strength and just over ten years later a dedicated facility was established in a converted residential premises nearby. The new facility comprised a much larger staff, including three child psychiatrists catering for seriously damaged children by means of their out patient program. In late 1978, DCAP, or the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found its home at the Sawkins Rd establishment in Rondebosch, Cape Town.
DCAP has helped tens of thousands of children and adolescents since its inception and humble beginnings. With the help of government grants and generous donations from generous sponsors, the facility has become the country’s leading specialist center for psychologically disturbed children and adolescents.