About 800, 000 people take their own lives every year, which is one person every 40 seconds, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
There are indications that for each adult who died by suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide. Suicide attempts are highly frowned upon in various jurisdictions globally, with culprits facing punishments such as imprisonment.
Nevertheless, suicide is the second leading cause of death among those aged 15 to 29, occurring throughout the lifespan, the WHO said. In Africa, several countries are struggling with high suicide rates, with depression often believed to be the major cause of these deaths.
Most young people who suffer depression caused mainly by sadness, loneliness, grief and disappointments, usually have no one to turn to for support and basically lack professional help.
WHO believes that “effective and evidence-based interventions can be implemented at population, sub-population and individual levels to prevent suicide and suicide attempts.”
While debates continue in Africa as to the best approaches to prevent people from committing such extreme acts, the most recent data from the WHO shows which countries in the continent report the highest numbers of suicides per capita for both men and women. Here are the top 7 African countries with the highest rates of suicide: