Keeping children alive and healthy in South Africa – how do we reach this goal? Perspectives from a paediatrician in a District Clinical Specialist Team
District Clinical Specialist Teams (DCSTs) are part of the primary healthcare re-engineering process in South Africa. These multidisciplinary clinical teams were established throughout the country in 2012, and their main role is reduction of maternal and childhood mortality and morbidity through improvement of service delivery at primary care level in their health districts. The Tshwane DCST is used as a case study to describe the challenges encountered in establishing the team within the complex district health system. On the other hand, the cross-disciplinary approach has proved itself a winning combination if the team shares a common vision and has a work plan to guide the priorities and facility support visits. Through their clinical expertise, and using extensive networking, DCSTs are well positioned in the health system to have a strong positive effect on child health.