Cape Medical Museum

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Medical Museum

The Cape Medical Museum is situated in the Old City Hospital Complex in Green Point, Cape Town, South Africa. Its exhibitions center around the medical history of the Cape and includes exhibitions on dentistry, hospital care, traditional African medicine and pharmaceutical developments. It was founded by a group of volunteers in the 1980s led by Prof J C De Villiers. Since its conception it was proclaimed as a Provincial Museum of the government of the Western Cape province.

South African history and its encounters with Europe, was arguably due to medical reasons. As the Dutch East India Company or VOC attempted to establish trade routes to the East via the south of Africa it became essential to establish a halfway station at the Cape of Good Hope due to malnutrition diseases such as scurvy. The indigenous cattle herders along with the rich resources of fauna and flora at the Cape had the potential to provide essential nutrients to the VOC fleets and in 1652 Jan van Riebeeck was commissioned to establish a 'halfway' station at the Cape.

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