#BREAKING: Suicide Cases Reach Alarming Rates In Zim

A total of 129 suicide cases were recorded between the months of January and March 2019 in Zimbabwe, compared to 91 reported in the same period last year, showing a 42% increase, a Zimbabwe Republic Police official has said.

By Kudakwashe Pembere

ZRP spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi exclusively told HealthTimes on Friday that the majority of these cases were in the form of hanging.

In January 2018 to March 2018, the Zimbabwe Republic Police recorded a total of 94 suicide cases and out of these suicide cases, 74 were through hanging and 20 were through poisoning where the victims would take some pesticides where they would take some overdose of tablets.

“So in 2019 we have recorded a total of 129 suicide cases from January to March 2019. Out of these you will realise that 87 are for hanging, 42 for poisoning,” he said.

He added that some of suicides cases were people suffering from mental disorders.

“And most of these suicide cases are caused by social problems which include marital problems, which include financial problems, which include people who will be suffering from mental illness,” said Assistant Commissioner Nyathi.

Assistant Commissioner Nyathi also noted that substance abuse by youths was also leading to suicides.

[pullquote]”Some will be due to old age where somebody is now old, is feeling that he or she is being neglected. Or some people will be suffering from chronic illnesses, then they commit suicide. Then on the other hand we also have some youths who engage in drug abuse where they end up also committing suicide,” he said.[/pullquote]

He also said there are youngsters who feel harassed if told by guardians what or what not to do.

“And then you also have some people all because they have family problems especially youngsters, they are told not to act in a certain manner by their parents or by their guardians but at the end of the day they feel they are being victimized. Or they are being stopped to do what they should be doing. Then they commit suicide,” said Assistant Commissioner Nyathi.

The Police spokesperson encouraged members of the public to seek counselling should they have social problems.

“Secondly, is to have constant family interaction. And also to be assisted by their community leadership who include the traditional leaders, the church, and other professional bodies so that at the end of the day, we assist people who will be under stress, who will be depressed  and help them cope with the demands of life,” he said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines suicide as the act of deliberately killing oneself.

Risk factors for suicide include mental disorder, especially depression, and neurological disorders, cancer and HIV infection. Every year, almost one million people die from suicide, 86% of whom are in low/middle-income countries. Suicide is among the three leading causes of death for young people under 25 and accounts for 10%−20% of deaths in women up to one year after giving birth. The median suicide rate for the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region is 4.90 per 100 000 people, compared with 6.55 for all countries of the world.

WHO 2017 figures show Zimbabwe is ranked number 19 in the world in terms of deaths by suicide, with suicide deaths reaching 1 641 or 1,30% of total mortalities in the country.

An estimated one million people per year in the world are said to die by suicide. As of 2017, it is estimated that around 30% of global suicides were due to pesticide self-poisoning, most of which occur in rural agricultural areas in poor countries.

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