In terms of suicide rates, Namibia has the fourth highest rate in Africa and at the same time ranks at 11th globally.
Across the world suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged between 15 and 29.
This shocking revelation was made by Oshana Regional Health Director, Johanna Haimene, on Thursday during the commemoration of the World Mental Health Day, held in Oshakati.
The World Health Orgamsisation estimates that a death by suicide occurs every 40 seconds worldwide leading to an estimated 800 000 lost lives each year. Local statistics reveal that, in Namibia it is estimated that about 22 in every 100 000 individuals kill themselves compared to 11 individuals per 100 000 worldwide.
A total of 79 percent of the world’s suicide occurred in low-and-middle-income countries where majority of these countries are from Africa.
According to Haimene, Namibia is the 4th highest country in Africa and 11th globally in terms of suicide rate, while Mozambique, Tanzania and Burundi are topping the list.
In 2017, about 425 people committed suicide in Namibia, while between 2012/16 2 190 people were reported, while a total of 25 000 people attempted suicide was estimated in 2015 alone.
“Suicide is the worst decision someone can take in his or her life,” she said, adding that yearly people are losing a lot of younger and productive generation, unless a good strategy is put in place to reduce the high rate the country is facing.
Haimene noted that the most common methods of suicide are hanging, self-poisoning with pesticide, and firearms.
She stated that the key interventions that have shown success in reducing suicides are restricting access to means; implementing programmes among young people to build life skills that enable them to cope with life stresses and early identification, management and follow-up of people at risk of suicide.
This year’s the day is being commemorated under the theme “Working together to prevent suicide: A day for 40 seconds of action.”