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Suicide prevention in Uganda 

Suicide prevention in Uganda
Suicide prevention in Uganda

Emilio Ovuga

and Jed Boardman

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date: 26 January 2022

Suicide is a global public health problem across the world: about 1 million people kill themselves each year and rates have increased over the past 50 years (World Health Organization 2001). Significant increases have been seen in young people (Wasserman et al. 2005) and suicide remains one of the leading causes of death among youth. Yet for many countries there are no reliable suicide statistics (Khan 2005). This is the case in sub-Saharan Africa where few published studies exist (e.g. Dong and Simon 2001; Nwosu and Odesanmi 2001; Kinyanda et al. 2004; Ndosi et al. 2004; Kinyanda et al. 2005; Ovuga et al. 2005a). Given the poverty, military unrest, psychological trauma, burden of neuropsychiatric disorders, alcoholism and AIDS, and the rapid rate of social change, these global trends are likely to be present in Africa.

In this chapter we examine briefly a background model and factors linked to suicide and a public health approach to its prevention. An example of efforts to tackle suicide in one district of Uganda is provided.

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