The World Health Organization (WHO) has introduced a suicide prevention campaign in Africa, a region it says has the highest rate of suicide deaths in the world.
Announcing the development in a statement released on Thursday, the
WHO regional office for Africa declared this in a statement and added, “About 11 people per 100,000 die in the African region, which is higher than the global average of nine cases of suicide per 100,000 people.”
Also, it recalled that Africa is home to six of the ten countries with the highest suicide rates in the world; the most common methods used are hanging, pesticide poisoning, and to a lesser extent, drowning, use of a firearm, plunging into a void, or overdosing on drugs the statement noted.
Further, the statement noted that the African region has one psychiatrist for every 500,000 inhabitants, which is 100 times less than the WHO recommendation.
The prevention campaign is launched on World Mental Health Day, October 10. Conducted on social networks, it aims to reach 10 million people in the region, according to WHO Africa.
“The aim is to raise awareness among the general public and mobilize the support of governments and decision-makers to give more attention and funding to programs dedicated to mental health.
“Primary health care professionals are being trained in Zimbabwe as part of a WHO initiative”.