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Journal Article


Banda GT, Banda N, Chadza A, Mthunzi C. Pan. Afr. Med. J. 2021; 38: e69.


(Copyright © 2021, African Field Epidemiology Network)






Suicide continues to be a global health concern, affecting all continents. Although some studies have associated it with mental disorders such as severe depression, research also shows that a significant number of cases occur due to emerging life stresses. It is one of the leading causes of death among young people and is steady on the rise in Malawi. Malawi's suicide cases disproportionately affect young males from rural areas. These cases are also higher than those of neighbouring countries. During the lockdown period to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic between April and September 2020, Malawi saw a rise in suicide cases, most of which were due to the resulting financial hardship. There is need to tackle the suicide epidemic holistically, on all tiers of intervention. People need to be equipped with socially acceptable coping mechanisms which are easily adaptable to a low resource setting. There is a need for initiative to be taken in training individuals who can manage mental ill health without overwhelming the health system. The entire health system and health policies should acknowledge the importance of mental ill-health and its consequences. Malawi needs to prioritise mental health issues, realising that indeed, there is no health, without mental health.

Language: en


Suicide; mental health; public health; noncommunicable disease


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