oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Social pathologies in Zimbabwe

Volume 39, Issue 10
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



This paper looks at the trend of social pathologies (diseases and cause of death which are more social in origin than biological) in Zimbabwe over the past decade. The rate of increase was found to be very high, even by international standards. In order to find plausible explanations for this rapid rise, the Zimbabwean situation was compared to two different populations; the Navajo Indians in the United States whose rate of social pathologies was also high and the Island of Mauritius whose level of socio-economic development was similar to that Zimbabwe but whose rate of social pathologies was very low. It was concluded that the reason for the rise in social pathologies in Zimbabwe was due to both socio-economic development and excess alcohol consumption. Efforts to combat social pathologies, however, should first be directed towards the problem of excess alcohol consumption which is more directly related to social pathologies than socio-economic development.

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