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Psychiatry, traditional healers, and the vimbusa, in northern Malawi

  • Gianetta Rands (a1)
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Last year I was fortunate enough to visit two GP friends running a district hospital in northern Malawi. As I had just taken Part 1 of the Membership Examination, they were intrigued to know my professional view of a condition called ‘the vimbusa’. In their experience, the vimbusa was a common complaint with a wide variety of presentations, none of which corresponded with disease entities they had learnt during their training. After a fascinating two weeks I was unable to categorise the vimbusa according to ICD-9, but the following essay summarises my attempts to understand this condition.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Ben-Tovim, D. I. (1987) Development Psychiatry; Mental Health and Primary Health Care in Botswana. London: Tavistock Publications.
Leff, J. P. (1981) Psychiatry around the Globe. New York and Basel: Marcel Dekker.
Ogunlesi, A. O. & Adelekan, M. L. (1988) Nigerian primary health care workers: a pilot survey on attitude to mental health. Psychiatric Bulletin, 12, 441443.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Psychiatry, traditional healers, and the vimbusa, in northern Malawi

  • Gianetta Rands (a1)
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