Malawi witnesses 72-percent rise in suicide cases – Official

APA-Blantyre Malawi experienced a 72- percent rise in suicide cases during the first three months of this year compared to the corresponding period in 2020, an official said on Monday. Connect Plus Resource Institute chief executive Dennis Mwafulirwa said mental health cases– especially suicides– have been on the rise during the past two years, as shown by a…

APA-Blantyre (Malawi) Malawi experienced a 72-percent rise in suicide cases during the first three months of this year compared to the corresponding period in 2020, an official said on Monday.

Connect Plus Resource Institute (CPRI) chief executive Dennis Mwafulirwa said mental health cases — especially suicides — have been on the rise during the past two years, as shown by a 57-percent increase in suicides between January and August 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

“Malawi Police Service statistics show that between January and March 2021, the country witnessed a 72 percent rise in suicide deaths compared to the same period in 2020,” Mwafulirwa said in a statement.

He called for urgent national action to address the challenges driving people to commit suicide.

Experts attribute the increase in suicide cases to socio-economic challenges triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the rise in job losses and tensions between spouses and among relatives during protracted lockdown periods.

CPRI is championing commemorations of Malawi’s first-ever Suicide Prevention Week to raise awareness about measures to reduce cases of suicide and suicide attempts.

The commemorations are running from September 5 to 11 and would coincide with the World Suicide Prevention Day observed on September 10 each year.

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