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How to reduce suicide rate in Nigeria – Psychiatrist

The National President, Association of Psychiatrists of Nigeria (APN), Dr Taiwo Sheikh, has said that the lack of a national prevention strategies by the government…

The National President, Association of Psychiatrists of Nigeria (APN), Dr Taiwo Sheikh, has said that the lack of a national prevention strategies by the government has led to the increase in suicide rate in Nigeria.

Speaking at the Health Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HEWAN) annual Symposium in Lagos, with the theme ‘Rising Incidents of Suicide, the Way Out’, Dr Sheik noted that since 2000, the establishment of a national prevention strategies in 28 countries of the world has led to a decline in suicide rate in those countries.

“In Europe, they have 13 programmes, America has eight, Western Pacific has five, South East Asia has two programmes while in Africa and Nigeria, we have zero intervention programmes. That is why suicide rate is on the increase here in our country. It is declining in those places because they have put certain things in place.”

“Like in Europe, they have blocked access to the different means of suicide such as changing the design of their bridges so people don’t go and jump to death, America is blocking access to firearms and harmful medications too.

“Here in Nigeria, nothing is being done to prevent suicide, rather we are talking about banning the sale of ‘Snipper’,” he said.

The psychiatrist, who stated that suicide was the second leading cause of death especially among the youth, urged the government to work on improving our health system “because a very good health system will put in place prevention strategies that will respond swiftly and adequately to cases of suicide in the country.”

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