oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Prevalence of untreated disease in rural Zimbabwe

Volume 32, Issue 7
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



A study consisting of two rural surveys in the same area with a nine-year interval between was undertaken to investigate the amount of untreated disease present. In 1972/3, 38% of people interviewed had some disorder, while in 1981/2 the figure was 59%, showing that there is an enormous amount of neglected disease in Zimbabwe, and that the situation had apparently worsened during the nine years. The range of disease was in accordance with the pattern of conditions seen elsewhere in the country. Many factors were responsible for patient non-attendance at hospital. These included belief in traditional medicine, lack of confidence in and fear of Western medicine, and lack of access to hospitals and clinics. It is felt the increasing use of health services will occur as living and educational standards rise, and that this will be accelerated by easier access to, and better understanding of, the services offered.

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