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  • 1.
    Shibre, Teshome
    et al.
    Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
    Spångeus, Anna
    Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Heart and Medicine Center, Department of Endocrinology.
    Henriksson, Linda
    Negash, Alemayehu
    Jacobsson, Lars
    Traditional treatment of mental disorders in rural Ethiopia2008In: Ethiopian Medical Journal, ISSN 0014-1755, Vol. 46, no 1, p. 87-91Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: 

    Mental disorders are known to be as prevalent in Ethiopia as in other countries. Only 26 psychiatrists are working in the country with close to 80 million inhabitants. To this should be added clinics run by psychiatric nurses in most of the general hospitals. This means that still most of the mentally ill in the country are trected and cared for in a traditional way.

    OBJECTIVES: 

    This paper presents the situation regarding traditional treatment of mental illness in a rural area in central Ethiopia, Butajira, with a population of about 350,000 persons, predominantly Muslim.

    METHODS: 

    All traditional healers in Butajira area were mapped by asking key informants. Twenty-four healers were so identified and interviewed about their perception of mental illness and the treatment they offer. Clients from the healers and patients from the local health centre were interviewed about their opinions on the service given.

    FINDINGS: 

    A majority of both clients and patients were satisfied with the consultation, but the clients of the healers were more satisfied than the patients in health centres.

    CONCLUSION: 

    As most persons with mental disorders are treated by traditional healers in rural Ethiopia and in most other developing countries it is important to do more comprehensive studies on the traditional treatment and to find ways of collaboration between traditional practice and modern medicine.

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