Psychiatric Services in Matabeleland

  • T Buchan
  • AP Baker


Some of the difficulties experienced with the introduction of community psychiatry into developed countries are reviewed. The dangers of transplanting such concepts piecemeal into an African context are stressed. To provide some basis for planning psychiatric services in Matabeleland, a survey is made of patients at Ingutsheni Hospital, Bulawayo. The hospital populations at 31 December 1968 and 31 December 1971 are compared; and all patients discharged during the intervening 3 years are reviewed. From the review it appears that about 40% of patients in hospital and 50% of patients discharged are schizophrenic, while about 20% of patients in hospital and 18% of patients discharged are epileptic. At least 34% of patients discharged have been admitted more than once. From these figures it is suggested that a followthrough service aimed at reducing the number of schizophrenic and epileptic readmissions would be a practical first step towards improving services.

S. Afr. Med. J., 48, 925 (1974).

Author Biographies

T Buchan
Nervous Diseases Hospital, Bulawayo
AP Baker
Nervous Diseases Hospital, Bulawayo

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135