SAMJ: South African Medical Journal
On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574
The porphyrias are a group of disorders resulting from defective haem biosynthesis. One form, variegate porphyria, is common in South Africa as a result of a founder effect. Over the past 50 years, the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Cape Town has built and maintained an international reputation for excellence in the field of porphyria. The porphyria group is respected for its research and for its accumulated experience in the management of these disorders. Equally important has been the comprehensive and holistic care offered to patients with porphyria, and to their families.