Alarm after 10 die by suicide in two months in Kilifi


An 11-year-old from Kakoneni village in Malindi is among 10 people who have died by suicide in the last two months in Kilifi County.

A report from the Department of Sports, Gender, Culture and Disasters shows the boy was sent to fetch firewood by his mother but committed suicide inside their house.

CEC Ruth Masha said a 71-year-old man is also among the cases. She attributed the sudden rise in suicide cases to the breakdown of families and the inability to deal with life stresses such as financial problems, relationship breakups, chronic pain and illness as well as retrogressive culture.

“We have never recorded such a high number of suicides before, and this is not only alarming but calls for urgent remedial measures," said Dr Masha.

"Recently, we received a case of attempted suicide; the cause was the person had not received treatment."

Data from the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2022 puts suicide mortality rates in the country at 6.1 in every 100,000, with men being in the highest risk category.

Early this month, politician Sammy Ambary was found dead at his home in Matsangoni village.

Health officials further said criminalisation of attempted suicide hampers efforts to address the root cause of the problem.

Health CEC Peter Mwarogo asked families and friends to be close to those who show signs of withdrawal and help them seek help.