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More than 500 women attempted suicide last year.

Byline: Rahul Basharat

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in last year received more than five hundred female patients who had attempted suicide because of emotional distress, financial constraints and domestic problems, said an official on Wednesday.

The official said that although the death rate by suicide has remained around one percent, the hospital had observed a surge in the cases of attempted suicide in females. Not a single month has gone by without a suicide case coming in.

Official added that the age group of females attempting suicides is between 20 to 40 years with most of them belonging to lower and lower-middle class families.

According to official emergency, gastro logy and medicine departments deal with the suicide attempt cases.

The official said that the maximum cases received by the hospital involved suicide attempt through intake of corrosive material such as drinking acid used for cleanliness at homes. Consumption of poisonous pills was the second most preferred method in these cases.

According to the official, as per the number of patients received at PIMS the ratio of suicide in married females has increased.

The gastro logy department is receiving 30 female patients in a month who are referred for stomach wash. A large number is also referred for surgery because of damage to organs and human tissues.

Dr. Waseem Khawaja spokesperson PIMS confirmed The Nation that around 550 cases of females' suicide attempts were received at PIMS last year and treated in emergency, medical and gastro departments.

Dr. Waseem said that the food pipes of the patients were found damaged due to consumption of acid and stomach was diagnosed as lesion in the endoscopy process.

PIMS spokesperson added that majority of the cases arriving at PIMS are not from far flung areas but from the twin cities.

'Married women attempt suicide because of family disputes and financial constraints,' he added.

Whereas unmarried women , between the ages of 18 to 30, mostly attempt suicide on account of emotional distress.

Depression is a major cause of suicide attempt in females. According to United Nations (UN) report, depression is a major contributor to suicide deaths and the second leading cause of death among people aged between 15 to 29 years.

According to WHO, there were 15,695 events of suicide in Pakistan in 2002. Research conducted in Agha Khan Medical University said the average number of suicides is 7000 to 8000 whereas 70,000 to 150,000 people try to commit suicide in Pakistan, most of them went back home after getting treatment.

Commenting on the matter, rights activists Tahira Abdullah said the reason for rise in suicide incidents could be the increasing poverty rates. Violence from husband and in-laws could be another reason for a greater number of women attempting to commit suicide . She said that these are actually murder attempts against women and girls, covered up and made to appear as 'suicide'.

She said the state needs to enact laws to punish those who attempt to murder women and girls and make it look like suicide .

The state should strictly enforce the laws through the police, LEAs and the judiciary. It is equally important for the state to address the increasing rate of poverty among women , and also increasing violent crimes against women and girls.

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Publication:The Nation (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Mar 8, 2018
Words:610
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