Zimbabwe facing shortage of psychiatrists

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ZIMBABWE needs to recruit more psychiatrists to deal divisively with the mental health challenges facing most citizens, the Daily News reports.
Recent statistics showed that the country, with a population of over 14 million, has less than 30 qualified psychiatrists. Nemache Mawere, a psychiatrist based at Ingutsheni Hospital in Bulawayo, said there were limited places where people can go for help for their mental disorders which have left hospitals overwhelmed.

Stigma towards those suffering from mental health problems like bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety is also forcing patients to shun professional help.

“Our care is too hospital-based, we must empty the hospitals by promoting community care, less stigma and encouraging families to look after relatives at home, giving them medication on time…

“Patients relapse and get sick in hospitals and they need to be readmitted yet sometimes there won’t be anyone to approve of that since some families just go to dump their relatives at a hospital and never go back to check on
them and no one will be checking on them on time because of the shortage we have already mentioned.

“Ingutsheni Hospital needs seven more psychiatrists and a neurologist, which means a lot of psychiatrists are needed in Zimbabwe if we want people who are mentally ill to be helped properly,” Mawere told the Daily News. By Tariro Sajeni

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