oa Journal of Psychology in Africa - The influence of traditional beliefs and practices on contemporary chamba (marijuana) use in Malawi

Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1433-0237



Excessive use of chamba (marijuana) abuse has been identified as a mental health problem in Malawi. However, chamba can be used in a variety of different social contexts. In particular, chamba use has had an important role in the traditional life of many communities. We investigated the possibility that traditional and modem practices have interacted to worsen the problem of chamba misuse in Malawi. Using a Focus Group methodology, 54 in-patients at Zomba Mental Hospital, who reported using chamba discussed their beliefs about .chamba use in both modem and traditional settings. Implications for the causes and management of chamba misuse in Malawi are discussed.

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