Physician calls for measures to curb suicide

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Dr Jonathan Anjola, a family physician with the National Hospital Abuja, has called on government at all levels to embrace measures that could prevent the spread of suicide in the country.

Anjola, who made the call while speaking on Saturday in Abuja, noted that taking serious measures to prevent suicide became necessary because of the increase in the menace.

The physician said that mental health policy of the government should be urgently reviewed to decriminalise suicide attempts, adding otherwise, poor reporting of the menace would continue in the country.

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He also stressed that suicide and suicide attempt records should be made available in every local government to facilitate research and follow up of individuals that attempted suicide in order to offer help.

Anjola also called for restrictions of lethal weapon and chemicals, particularly organophosphates, which contained substances like “Sniper”(a rat poison).

The medical expert advised government to embark on massive campaign against the substance and alcohol abuse to forestall suicide.

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He expressed concern that organophosphates had been popularly used by men and women in the country for suicide.

Anjola also called for immediate training of all cadres of staff in primary healthcare centres and general medical practice to enable them to receive signs of depression and other mental illnesses.

He said that prompt treatment of any identified mental condition would also serve as a potent weapon to curb suicide.

There had been reported cases of suicide and suicide attempt, especially at the Lagos lagoon, in recent time.

The development has prompted the Lagos State Government to place special security at the lagoon areas to guard against such menace.

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines suicide as the act of killing on self, deliberately initiated and performed by the person concerned, in the full knowledge or expectation of it’s fatal outcome, adding that it is an act of violence directed inwards.

Suicide is said to be the 3rd leading cause of death in the world, especially among young people15 – 44 years and ranks second in adolescents between 15 -19 years.

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