The only psychiatrist working in the African country of Chad has his work cut out to convince patients their issues are medical, rather than spiritual.So how would you convince the people of Chad that this guy is any better than some quack voodoo medicine man. At least they do not trust him to do child custody recommendations.
The sign outside Dr Egip Bolsane's surgery in the sleepy riverside district of Chagoua in the Chadian capital N'Djamena proclaims "the pioneer".
Even by Dr Bolsane's own account psychiatry was an unusual choice: it is not a discipline that many Chadians understand.
"Going to see a psychiatrist in Chad is a difficult thing for many people," said Dr Bolsane, seated behind a sparse wooden desk with just a bunch of white plastic flowers in a gold vase as decoration.
"Public opinion here thinks that it means something is really wrong in your head, it might be because you're possessed.
"We need to demystify the more or less diabolical image of psychiatry."
A listless fan rotates erratically behind him and he wipes the sweat away from his face - Dr Bolsane himself is not in particularly good health and he can't afford air conditioning.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Chad psychiatrist has no air conditioning
The UK BBC reports on a county that is not sold on psychiatry: