Love affairs, family conflicts the leading causes of poisoning
SEE ALSO :Suicide car bomber kills at least threeMore deaths from suicides, but this time affecting the elderly, were reported last week by the Kenya Medical Research Institute and the University of Oxford of the UK. The study carried out in Kilifi County showed the highest rates of suicides to be among males aged 64 or more. The researchers suggested these findings may be a reflection of suicide trends in rural Kenya. In the report published on August 29 in BMC Psychiatry, the authors say these suicides were preceded by stress, poverty and chronic illnesses and may be prevalent across rural Kenya. Of 104 suicide deaths studied in the area, those among men were twice as many as for women and tended to increase with age and poverty. The reports of increasing suicides among Kenya’s poor elders comes at a time the State Department of Social Protection says to have spent over Sh27 billion in cash transfers to the elderly.
SEE ALSO :Man hangs himself after fight with wifeThe cash transfer was launched in 2008 to cushion the elderly – over 65 years – against the effects of abject poverty. It also comes five years since the Jubilee Government removed user fees from dispensaries and health centres across Kenya to allow the old and poor more access to medical care. The Kilifi study found most of the old who had committed suicide to have had a history of cancers, diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma. Use of firearms to commit suicide has also been rising in Kenya. One of the data sets used to compile the global report came from the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey in July and said the number of guns in civilian hands in the country has jumped from 680,000 in 2016 to 750,000. Out of the 750,000 private firearms, only 8,136 are registered, representing a paltry one per cent, the survey said. This means that a majority of private guns or 99 per cent are held illegally.