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Suicide prevention in Pakistan 

Suicide prevention in Pakistan
Chapter:
Suicide prevention in Pakistan
Author(s):

Murad M Khan

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198570059.003.0110
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date: 25 August 2019

Pakistan is a developing country located in South Asia, with a population of approximately 162 million, 97 per cent of which are Muslims. Suicide is a condemned act in Islam. Historically, suicide was rare, but over the last decade or so has become a major public health problem in Pakistan (Khan and Prince 2003). Despite this, there are no official statistics from Pakistan. National rates are neither known nor reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) (World Health Organization 2001).

Under Pakistani law (based on the tenets of Islam), both suicide and deliberate self-harm (DSH) are illegal acts, which are punishable with a term in jail and a financial penalty. People avoid going to government hospitals, where suicidal acts are registered. Many seek treatment from private hospitals that neither diagnose suicide nor report them to police. Suicide and DSH are, therefore, underreported in Pakistan (Khan and Reza 1998).

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