WINDHOEK - Namibia has the fourth highest suicide rate in Africa, according to the Ministry of Health and Social Services, and between April and July this year, 131 people committed suicide countrywide.
In April 35 people committed suicide, in May 41, while 27 people committed suicide in June and in July, a total of 28 people took their lives, according to the health ministry.
Furthermore, 174 people attempted suicide in eight regions of the country.
Erongo Region had the highest suicide attempts at 48. The two Kavango regions recorded 38 cases of attempted suicide, Oshikoto Region 25, Ohangwena 23, Oshana 19.
The lowest number of attempted suicide cases was recorded in Hardap, Omaheke and Kunene regions with nine, seven and five cases respectively.
The Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Juliet Kavetuna said at a press conference in commemoration of the ‘International Day for Suicide Prevention’ yesterday that in Namibia just like elsewhere in the world, “self-directed violence is a serious social, economic and public health concern”.
Globally, Namibia is ranked 11th in suicide rate.
Kavetuna said the health ministry is working with stakeholders such as the Ministry of Safety and Security, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Debmarine Namibia, Bel Esprit hospital, LifeLine/ChildLine Namibia and the Council of Churches in Namibia to implement preventative and treatment mechanisms.
These include outreach programmes to schools, media coverage of suicide, information sharing at police roadblocks and outreaches to churches.
“The high suicide rate in Namibia as well as lack of evidence-based information on suicide prompted the Ministry of Health and Social Services, specifically the Directorate of Social Welfare Services, to conduct a national study on the prevalence and interventions in relation to suicide in Namibia during 2016,” said Kavetuna.
The results of the study would be made public in October, revealed the deputy minister.
“The social well-being of all Namibians needs to be prioritised. We need to take concerted actions towards the improvement of the living conditions of our people. As long as people are feeling hopeless and helpless, their psycho-social well-being will be compromised,” said Kavetuna. The ‘International Day for Suicide Prevention’ is observed on September 10 annually.
2018-09-11 08:09:09 6 months ago