oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Aspects of Rural Health IV: Better Rural Clinic Services

Volume 24, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Rural Clinics or dispensaries have been features of African health services for many years. Staffed by medical assistants they are often the only permanent health facilities serving remote areas of the country and are isolated by distance and lack of communication from larger centres. Because of this isolation, it is not surprising that standards are sometimes low and only ""dispensary"" services are provided, which may be of some benefit to individual patients attending the clinic, but make little impact on the overall health of the community. This state of affairs is changing rapidly in Rhodesia, and it is most exciting to observe clinics being transformed from dispensaries, which provide only a limited curative service, to health units providing a much more comprehensive primary medical care service at very little extra cost.

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