One suicide occurs every 40 seconds, WHO says

Research conducted for 10 years by World health Organisation reveals that 800,000 people kill themselves every year, which ranks suicide the second leading cause of death in young people aged 15 to 29. The same report says those aged 70 and above are most likely to take their own lives.

Research conducted for 10 years by World health Organisation reveals that 800,000 people kill themselves every year, which ranks suicide the second leading cause of death in young people aged 15 to 29. The same report says those aged 70 and above are most likely to take their own lives.

Three-quarters of these deaths were found to be in low and middle income countries, while in richer countries, three times as many men as women die by suicide. Limiting access to firearms and toxic chemicals was shown to reduce rates of suicide although introducing a national strategy is much more effective yet had been developed in only a minority of countries.

Suicide is considered a major public health problem that is culturally regarded as taboo and WHO wants to reduce the rate of suicide by 10 per cent by 2020, but warned just that 28 countries have a national suicide prevention strategy.

Dr Margaret Chan, the director-general of WHO, said the report is a call for action to address a large public health problem.

Social stigma attached to mental health disorders is known to stop people seeking help and can ultimately lead to suicide.

The WHO also attacked the reporting of suicide in the media, such as the details revealed about the death of Hollywood actor Robin Williams.

Other WHO developments indicate that blood or serum from survivors can be used to cure Ebola because it contains antibodies to the target pathogen.

In a meeting that discussed the use of both blood and purified plasma, there was a consensus that this has a good chance to work and can be produced now from the countries themselves.

At home, about 4,000 health caregivers in the country are to benefit from a yearlong training exercise set to be conducted by a team of 116 experts from 23 US varsities.

The training started last week across the country under the patronage of Human Resources for Health (HRH) programme, a seven-year partnership between Rwanda, US and institutions such as Global Fund and Clinton Foundation.

The biggest focus is on medical specialists and nurses. At least 500 specialists and 5,000 nurses are expected to benefit country wide by 2019.

The 10 HRH priority areas are internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, pathology, anesthesiology and emergency medicine.

Lest we forget, the rains are here. With the downpour is not just disasters but diseases too. Waterborne diseases and malaria cases will be higher during the rains, so this is the time to rethink your hygiene.

 

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