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Every 40 seconds one person dies from Suicide globally

The World Health Organization has said that every 40 seconds one person dies from suicide globally.

The WHO’s latest report was released on Monday as part of activities to mark the World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10.

The global body however said the number of countries with “national suicide prevention strategies has increased in the five years since the publication of WHO’s first global report on suicide.”

It said “the total number of countries with strategies, at just 38, is still far too few and governments need to commit to establishing them.”

“Despite progress, one person still dies every 40 seconds from suicide,” said WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

He adds that “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.”

Top killer in the world

The WHO also revealed that “Suicide was the second leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 years, after road injury.

Among teenagers aged 15-19 years, suicide was the second leading cause of death among girls (after maternal conditions) and the third leading cause of death in boys (after road injury and interpersonal violence).”

The WHO is also signalling that helping to reduce the rates of deaths from suicide requires some key interventions.

It said “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.”

In some African countries suicide has been criminalized and those who fail in their attempts to commit suicide are prosecuted.

It means people are unable to seek help and support due to stigma.


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