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Africa – WHO Campaign against Suicide

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By Abdulwasiu Usman

The African region has the world’s highest rate of deaths by suicide.

Every suicidal death is a major public health concern with a profound impact on those around them. The World Health Organization (WHO) anti-suicide campaign is focused on raising awareness, reducing the stigma around suicide, and providing an impetus for action to prevent suicide instances in the African region. As reported by the WHO, compared to the worldwide average of 9 per 100,000, Africa has a higher suicide rate, at about 11 per 100,000 each year.

Research shows that in Africa, for each completed suicide, there are an estimated 20 attempted ones. In this region, hanging and self-poisoning with pesticides, drowning, use of a firearm, jumping from a height or drug abuse are the most common ways used in committing suicide. This is attributable partly, to a lack of efforts to address and prevent risk factors, such as mental health issues, which currently affect a large number of people, increasing from 53 million in 1990 to 116 million people.

WHO continues to contribute to the region’s public health.

Prior to the just observed 2022 World Mental Health Day on October 10, themed “Make Mental Health and Well-Being for All a Global Priority”, WHO launched a social media campaign aimed to promote public awareness of the importance of mental health care and galvanizing governments’ and policymakers’ support for increased emphasis and financing for mental health programs. As well as sensitizing the public on how to aid those with stigmatization that might lead to suicide. This was done in a bid to reach out to 10 million people across the region.

WHO in the African Region is supporting task-sharing and integration of mental health into multi-sectoral programs in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, and Mali. Such as the joint Neglected Tropical Diseases and mental health efforts in Nigeria. To advance continental efforts towards equitable access to mental, neurological, and substance abuse care, member States are urged to prioritize the implementation of the Framework to Implement the Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan in the WHO African Region.

Mental health looms in the region due to underinvestment.

According to the WHO, six of the top ten nations with the highest suicide rates globally are African nations. In Africa, underinvestment by governments is the greatest challenge to adequate mental health service provision. On average, governments allocate less than 50 US cents per capita to mental health. Although it is an improvement from 10 US cents in 2017, it is still well below the recommended US$ 2 per capita for low-income countries. Additionally, mental health care is generally not included in national health insurance schemes.

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, avers that “Significant investment must be made to address Africa’s increasing epidemic of chronic illnesses and non-infectious diseases such as mental disorders and other factors that might lead to suicide. Ongoing efforts by governments should be intensified and deepened to make mental health care a public health priority in the African region. Up to 11% of the risk factors for suicide are caused by mental health issues”. ” It’s time for major transformation” he added.

Suicide prevention should be prioritized in the public health agenda.

In a statement released by WHO on the 2022 World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), observed on the 10th of September with “Creating hope through action” as the triennial theme from 2021-2023, it stated, “Through our actions, we can signal those who are contemplating suicide that there is hope and that we care about them and want to help them. We can all create hope through action and be the light”. Additionally, it emphasized the importance of setting suicide prevention as a priority in the public health agenda by countries, particularly where access to mental health services and availability of evidence-based interventions are already low.


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jdpumping
jdpumping
1 year ago

Imagine Africa having the highest rates of death through suicide and this cannot be far fetched poverty, depression and other effects,the government needs to have depression centres where people can walk in to have talks with professionals.

Abusi
Abusi
1 year ago

We need enough enligtenment and campaigns against this Suicide. Suicidal thoughts and attempts by people is really a serious mental and psychological problem. We can help people also by showing them love because all of us are going through a lot.

Adeolastan
Adeolastan
1 year ago

A lot of circumstances make suicide common in Africa and the major issue is poverty, unless something drastically is done concerning poverty level in Africa nothing much can be archive in reducing it.

Haykaylyon26
Haykaylyon26
1 year ago

Awareness and enlightenment against suicide should be done to let them know suicide is not an option poverty also is part of what cause suicide we have to reduce the rate of our poverty

Iyanu12345ogg
Iyanu12345ogg
1 year ago

Suicide prevention should be prioritized in the public health agenda. This would bring about enlightenment to those who are contemplating suicide that there is hope care and there’s solution to their situation.

Last edited 1 year ago by Iyanu12345ogg
Christiana
Christiana
1 year ago

Every death by suicide is a huge public health concern that has a significant effect on others who are in the immediate area.

Tolaniiii
Tolaniiii
1 year ago

As well as educating the public on how to support those who are subjected to stigma that could result in suicide.

Nwachukwu Kingsley
Nwachukwu Kingsley
1 year ago

Every death by suicide is a huge public health concern that has a significant effect on others who were in the person’s immediate environment.

Chibuzor
Chibuzor
1 year ago

This is giving the push for action to be taken in order to prevent incidences of suicide throughout the African region.

Bola12
Bola12
1 year ago

Every suicide is a public health hazard that affects the person’s immediate area.

Remi1
Remi1
1 year ago

Through our actions, we can signal those who are contemplating suicide that there is hope and that we care about them and want to help them. We can all create hope through action and be the light.

DimOla
DimOla
1 year ago

Major factor responsible for this suicide depression which is the results of stigmatization. What is happening presently in Nigeria is also a contributory factor to suicide too.

Tonerol10
Tonerol10
1 year ago

Poverty has contributed more on the issue of suicide in africa. Good Leadership is very important in africa to stop all this nonsense

theApr
theApr
1 year ago

The public health agenda should place a high priority on suicide prevention. This would show folks who are thinking about suicide that there is help, care, and a way out of their predicament.

Ultra0711
Ultra0711
1 year ago

In most occurrence depression brings about suicidal thoughts. We all should try and reach out to our people going through hard time AMD shoe them love.

SarahDiv
SarahDiv
1 year ago

WHO has been so helpful in improving the wellbeing people in African countries. Most at times depression could lead to mental instability which invariably lead to suicidal thoughts and dead eventually. The situations of things in Nigeria has triggered this too.

Last edited 1 year ago by SarahDiv
Adesanyaj72
Adesanyaj72
1 year ago

The fact that many people still suffer from untreated risk factors, such as mental health problems, is a major contributor.

Godsewill Ifeanyi
Godsewill Ifeanyi
1 year ago

According to studies, there are approximately 20 suicide attempts for every successful one in Africa. Most suicides in this area are carried out via hanging, poisoning oneself with pesticides, drowning, shooting oneself, jumping from a great height, or abusing drugs.

Kazeem1
Kazeem1
1 year ago

In most cases, coverage for mental health care is not provided by national health insurance programs, and this is not how it is supposed to work.

Taiwoo
Taiwoo
1 year ago

In order to make mental health care a priority in public health throughout the African region, ongoing efforts by governments should be stepped up, intensified, and expanded.