​​​​​Department of Paediatrics and Child Health


Prof Johan Smith

Prof. Johan Smith (MBCHB, FC Paed (SA), MMed (Paed), PhD) is the Clinical Head of the Neonatal intensive care unit and tertiary neonatal services of the Department of Paediatrics & Child Health, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. He received his MD degree at the University of Stellenbosch, and completed postgraduate training in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. He completed a research fellowship at the KUL in Leuven, Belgium in 1990, and subsequently held appointments at the University of Stellenbosch (Professor of Paediatrics and Neonatology) in 2007. He founded the United South African Neonatal Association (USANA) (https://usana.org.za/), together with Prof Alan Horn (University of Cape Town), in 2007/2008. USANA is an affiliate of the South African Paediatric Association and aim to promote and facilitate collaboration between neonatal services in South Africa, promoting the use of best-care practices that are evidence-based and the establishing of communications between neonatal care givers in South Africa. Additional objectives include the upholding of the rights of neonates by advocating and promoting the delivery of effective and safe perinatal and neonatal services to newborn infants according to the African Charter on the rights and Welfare of the Child (1999) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989).

Prof. Smith’s main areas of interest include continuing medical education of postgraduate clinicians and his research interest focusses on lung surfactant, neonatal respiratory assistance in low-resourced healthcare environments, acute and chronic lung diseases affecting preterm- and term infants and the design and development of biomedical devices. Prof Smith served as a board member of IPOKRaTES (2002 - 2008), a non-profit foundation which hosts continuing postgraduate medical education seminars on a global scale. He has hosted a biennial HFOV workshop between 2000 and 2016, the only such skills development program on the sub-continent of Africa. He founded the concept of ‘Here be Lungs’ (http://www.herebelungs.co.za/), an annual, non-profit postgraduate seminar, focussing on state of the art developments in respiratory-related conditions and diseases. He has published more than 60 scientific articles in international and national journals. He has been a reviewer for national and international scientific journals. He has been an invited speaker at national congresses and symposia in South Africa, Belgium and New York. ​