Psychiatry in a land of 7 1/2 million (National Census, August 1982) people with relatively advanced general medical services, but only eight psychiatrists, has great problems. The facilities have been described elsewhere (Murdoch, 1982). Historically poorly related to population needs, and with immense difficulties in serving the rural communities that still comprise over half the population (National Census), Zimbabwe has concentrated its post-independence effort on the development of primary health care in village, district and small town. With a medical school expanding (current intake 80 students per annum) and good central facilities for training and specialist care, primary care in public health and general medical services are developing on a sound basis. In psychiatry, a mere 1200 beds for the country (only 141 in the capital, Harare, which, with dormitory towns, has an ‘official’ population of 1.1 million and serves a further four million in remote rural areas) the training and specialist facilities are sketchy indeed.
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