Suicides on the rise in Afghanistan: official
KABUL (Pajhwok): A senior Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) official on Monday said there was a significant rise in the number of people committing suicides in Afghanistan, asking the authorities concerned to help his ministry implement the national suicide control policy.
Dr. Najia Tariq, deputy director for health services at the MoPH, said a survey by the World Health Organisation (WHO) showed 1,205 people committed suicide in 2012 in Afghanistan.
They included 643 women and 562 men, she told a ceremony marking International Suicide Prevention Day titled “Help to rescue a life” in Kabul.
She cited sexual violence, family issues, old customs and depression as main reasons behind the growing incidents of suicide among people aged between 15 to 29 years old.
Unemployment, ignorance, poverty and continued conflict in Afghanistan were other factors compounding the situation, she observed.
She called on civil society groups, departments working under the Hajj and Religious Affairs Ministry, Youth Affairs Directorate at the Ministry of Information and Culture, Higher Education Ministry, Women’s Affairs Ministry and Counternarcotics Ministry to play their role in halting the growing trend of suicides.
Dr. Warusavithana Supriya, WHO representative in Afghanistan, said suicide cases were a great challenge for health ministries in the world, adding that most people committed suicide due to depression and psychological problems.
Supriya said 196 countries agreed in 2013 to bring down the incidents of suicide by 10 percent till 2020.
The WHO representative said taking own lives in Afghanistan was due to domestic violence, unemployment, drug addiction and the growing mental disorders.
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