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World Suicide Prevention Day, 10 September

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The WHO Representative in Afghanistan addresses a meeting on the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day 2012Suicide prevention is possible but primary prevention requires broad modifications of social and economic conditionsThe aim of World Suicide Prevention Day, which is celebrated annually on 10 September, is to raise awareness among the scientific community and the general population that suicide is preventable. Suicide is a social problem.

Currently, there are no accurate data on the number of deaths resulting from suicide in Afghanistan. However, the Ministry of Public Health in Afghanistan reports that a study conducted in 2008 by Medica Afghanistan in Kabul, Herat and Wardak provinces revealed that the suicide rate among females was higher than males.

Suicide attempts by females are often in response to forms of violence which they may be experiencing. Young women aged 16 to 19 are more likely to attempt suicide than other age group. National figures also indicate that 95% of suicides are attempted by uneducated or less educated women.

The WHO Representative in Afghanistan noted, “Suicide prevention is possible but primary prevention requires broad modifications of social and economic conditions. It involves population-based interventions, rather than focusing on individuals at risk.

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Key health-related statistics

Population (m) 29.7
Health expenditure (% of GDP) 9.5
Adult (15+) literacy rate (%) 34.8
Life expectancy at birth F/M (2010) 63.2-63.6

Sources: Central Statistics office, Afghanistan National health Accounts, Afghanistan Living Conditions Survey, Afghanistan mortality survey. 

Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

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WHO Afghanistan Programme Overview 

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