The Red Cross Children’s Hospital Poisons Information Centre is staffed by medical doctors and specially trained pharmacists, and is dedicated to providing up-to-date, well-researched and peer-reviewed information on a wide spectrum of toxins, including locally available commercial products and South African poisonous plants and animals.

Our poisons centre provides advice on the prevention, diagnosis and management of poisoning in both adults and children. The centre is part of the UCT Department of Paediatrics and Child Health and is situated in the Institute of Child Health at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital. We produce the AfriTox® poisons information database which is widely distributed to doctors and treatment facilities in Southern Africa and it underpins the Poisons Information Helpline of the Western Cape. This emergency telephone service is available 24 hours a day, both to the public and to medical professionals. It allows fast access to accurate information immediately after poisoning is suspected or confirmed so that a patient can be treated appropriately and effectively.

The Poisons Information Centre has an interesting history. More information can be found on the University of Cape Town’s website at

Calls on Poisons Emergency Line

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