The Public Health Directorate in Herat province, in the west of Afghanistan, has recorded almost 1,600 cases of suicide attempts since last March, showing a 10 percent decrease in the figures compared with the last solar year – March 2017 to March 2018.
The figures by the Directorate show that 50 of those who attempted suicide lost their lives and those who attempted suicide aged between 15 to 25 years old.
Moreover, of the 1,600 individuals who have attempted suicide, at least 300 of them are men while others are women and girls.
The figures indicate that almost 60 percent of suicide attempts have occurred in Herat districts, where the directorate says people are living in poor conditions and are faced with a lack of awareness and education.
Self-immolation, suicide by hanging and the use of high doses of different medicines are the most common ways used by those who attempted suicide in the province, said Mohammad Arif Jalali, head of government-run Herat hospital.
“Suicide attempts are on the rise in Herat,” Jalali said. “Most of the victims are between 15 to 25 years old who attempt suicide due to various reasons.”
The health directorate’s assessments show that domestic violence, forced marriages, lack of education and poverty are among the main reasons behind suicide attempts among the young generation in the province.
The head of Herat Hospital’s Burn Unit, Haidari, said lack of awareness about life is also among the main reasons behind suicide attempts by the youths.
Meanwhile, statistics by the provincial Women's Affairs Directorate show that at least 600 cases of violence against women have been reported in the province since last March.
Herat Women’s Affairs Directorate Sumayya Taheri said women prefer to commit suicide “instead of suffering domestic violence”.
“The graph of suicide attempts and self-immolation cases is high in Herat and most of such cases are not registered,” Taheri said. “The statistics of the Public Health Directorate show an increase in suicide attempts and self-immolation cases in Herat which is concerning for us.”