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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A historical perspective of 50 years of mental health services in Malawi
Editor:Chorwe-Sungani, Genesis
Periodical:The Society of Malawi Journal
Geographic term:Malawi
Subjects:mental health
medical history
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/43694113
Abstract:This article traces the history of care for the mentally ill in Malawi since the early twentieth century. In 1910, Zomba Central Prison opened a wing for mentally ill inmates, wanting to separate them from the others. By the 1930s the view that mental illness was a medical condition that required proper medical treatment had gained ground. In 1943 Zomba Central Prison opened a wing where quieter patients could lead a less restricted life, growing their own food as a form of occupational therapy. In 1948 the Mental Health Treatment Act replaced the Lunacy Act and the Asylum Ordinance. The Mental Health Treatment Act was amended in the 1960s to deal with some forms of discrimination that existed in the ordinances. Zomba Mental Hospital was opened in 1953. The colonial administration did not invest in the training of native Malawian mental health professionals; only after Independence such training was taken up. A first National Mental Health Policy was developed in 2001. The policy was, however, not fully implemented by the time it expired (2005), nor was it replaced by a new national policy. The authors call for a review of the Mental Health Treatment Act and the development of a renewed mental health policy for the benefit of the mentally ill and their care givers. Bibliogr. [ASC Leiden abstract]