Community, Diaspora and Immigration

51 suicide cases recorded in Gulu in three months

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At least 51 cases of suicide have been recorded in Gulu District in the last three months, according to local government sources in the area.

The new cases were recorded between the months of December 2012 and February 2013 from the Sub Counties of Koro, Odek and Paicho.

The latest victim is 29-year-old Evelyn Apio, a resident of Gulyech village who committed suicide over the weekend. Apio reportedly ended her life after complaining that her husband was paying more attention to her co-wife, singling out house furniture the husband had bought for the co-wife.

Francisco Wotdok Awori, a local council official from Koro Sub County, says they receive almost daily cases of people who have either been rescued from or say they have contemplated suicide.

Mr Wotdok says most of the cases reported to local authorities are a result of domestic violence. He says over the past two months 25 people have died while 31 were rescued after attempting to commit suicide.

He however says both the district and central government have not made any intervention to combat the worrying trend. The only intervention so far, he says, is the inter-denominational prayers organized by the LCs to try and restore hope to the people.

Jimmy Orut, the Gulu District Community Development Officer, says the district has drafted a course of action which includes sensitizing the community on how to avoid suicide. He says the action plan also aims at involving clan heads in sensitizing the community to dissuade from suicide.

The Amnesty Commission blames the rise in suicide cases on continued absence of counseling services among the population in northern and eastern Uganda who were affected by twenty years of war.

Moses Drako, the Amnesty Commission spokesperson, told Uganda Radio Network on Monday that there were increasing cases of people committing suicide due to high levels of trauma and depression, conditions that can be alleviated by counseling.

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