Eight thousand Ethiopians commit suicide annually

The number of people who commit suicide in Ethiopia every year has reached 8, 000, reports indicate.

Out of every one million Ethiopians 80 commit suicide annually, according to the state daily Amharic newspaper, Addis Zemen, which quoted an expert at the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia.

“Even though there were no recent studies on the issue, internationals studies show that out of one million people in Ethiopia, 80 of them commit suicide,” said Dr. Dereje Aseffa, team leader of Mental Health Program at the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia.

He indicated that suicide is more prevalent among Ethiopian men above 45 years old and women above 55 years. The figure might even be more because of the tradition and culture of most Ethiopians who refrain from making public such incidents, according to Dr. Dereje.

He stated that mental health problem has about 95 percent contribution in leading people to commit suicide.

It is also indicated that some of the major causes of suicide in Ethiopia include, gaps in social cohesion, loneliness or being single, not having a child after marriage, losing loved ones, committing suicide to harm others as a result, physical health problem or disability and shortage of chemicals in the brain system.

He stated that suicide has been a major social, economic crisis and psychological burden for the families of the lost ones and the country in general.

A recent systematic review suggests that suicide is an emergency psychiatric problem that needs an urgent intervention.

“Ethiopia, as a nation, has been experiencing high burden of suicide. Cultural taboo, stigma, and criticism associated with suicidal behaviors affect the communities’ attitude and practice toward suicide and its help-seeking behaviors,” the review indicated.

Another study on Suicide ideation and attempts among people with epilepsy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, reveals that the prevalence of suicidal ideation and attempt among people with epilepsy were 29.8 and 14.1%, respectively. “The prevalence of suicidal ideation and attempt in people with epilepsy found to be higher when compared to general population,” the study concludes.

Globally, it is indicated that on every 40 seconds, one person commits suicide somewhere, which makes the total figure of people who commit suicide to 800,000.