One Person Commits Suicide Every 40 Seconds in the World – WHO

…says men are more suicidal than women

Ndifreke Enefiok

The World Health Organization, WHO has disclosed that one person commits suicide every 40 seconds in the World and close to 800,000 people die by suicide every year.

WHO in a release titled “Preventing suicide: a resource for pesticide registrars and regulators” and made available to celebrate the 2019 World Suicide Prevention Day said, “Despite progress, one person still dies every 40 seconds from suicide.”

According to it’s Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, “Every death is a tragedy for family, friends and colleagues. Yet suicides are preventable. We call on all countries to incorporate proven suicide prevention strategies into national health and education programmes in a sustainable way.”

The World Suicide Prevention day is celebrated every September 10, in the world to create more awareness on mental health and safety measures for suicidal victims.

WHO opined that the rate of suicide was prevalent in country with high income living and rampant among young people between the ages of 15-29 years. Among teenagers between age 15-19years, the WHO added that suicide was the second leading cause of death after maternal conditions while the third leading cause of death in boys after road injury was interpersonal violence.

READ ALSO: Suicide Attempt Averted in Uyo as Female Lawyer Tried to Commit Suicide

The organization stressed that three men compared to their female counterparts were likely to die by suicide than the women in high-income countries.

The global age-standardized suicide rate [1] for 2016 [2] was 10.5 per 100 000. Rates varied widely, however, between countries, from 5 suicide deaths per 100 000, to more than 30 per 100 000. While 79% of the world’s suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries, high-income countries had the highest rate, at 11.5 per 100 000. Nearly three times as many men as women die by suicide in high-income countries, in contrast to low- and middle-income countries, where the rate is more equal.”

Also, the WHO explained that although pesticide use by suicidal victims was under-used but was highly effective strategy and should be regulated by relevant authorities in every country.

They add, “The intervention that has the most imminent potential to bring down the number of suicides is restricting access to pesticides that are used for self-poisoning. The high toxicity of many pesticides means that such suicide attempts often lead to death, particularly in situations where there is no antidote or where there are no medical facilities nearby.”

The WHO worry that the alarming increase in suicide in the World needs to proactive and preventive measures which according to them will include, regulating the use of hazardous pesticides, improved data collection and monitoring of suicide at the national level.

“There is now a growing body of international evidence indicating that regulations to prohibit the use of highly hazardous pesticides can lead to reductions in national suicide rates. The best-studied country is Sri Lanka, where a series of bans led to a 70% fall in suicides and an estimated 93 000 lives saved between 1995 and 2015. In the Republic of Korea – where the herbicide paraquat accounted for the majority of pesticide suicide deaths in the 2000s – a ban on paraquat in 2011-2012 was followed by a halving of suicide deaths from pesticide poisoning between 2011 and 2013.”

“The timely registration and regular monitoring of suicide at the national level are the foundation of effective national suicide prevention strategies. Yet, only 80 of the 183 WHO Member States for which estimates were produced in 2016 had good quality vital registration data. Most of the countries without such data were low- and middle-income. Better surveillance will enable more effective suicide prevention strategies and more accurate reporting of progress towards global goals.”

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