A man who attempted to take his life at a bus stop in Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria, was saved by personnel of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) who rushed to the scene, an official said on Saturday.
Suicide is becoming a daily occurrence in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are 9.5 suicides per 100,000 people in Nigeria.
Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, Director-General of LASEMA, said operatives of the agency went to the scene after a distress call about the unnamed man attempting suicide at the National Bus Stop in Ikeja.
The man, Oke-Osanyintolu said, had allegedly fallen from a height on Saturday but the rescue team came right on time to safe his life.
“We received a distress call around 9:50 a.m. about a man reported to have attempted to commit suicide at National Bus Stop, Ikeja,” LASEMA DG said.
“This prompted the immediate activation of our emergency responders to the scene.”
The victim sustained an open lacerated wound on the heel of his left leg when the team got to the scene, he said.
The LASEMA boss added that the victim’s suspected fracture at the distal end of the right tibia was as a result of alcohol intoxication and suicide attempt.
“Information gathered at the scene of the incident was that the adult man fell from height with a view of suicide attempt,” he said.
He said first-aid was applied after which the man was immediately taken to Ikeja General Hospital for further treatment.
“At the scene, safety was ensured, the wound was irrigated, the victim was assessed and vitals checked with BP 130/80mmHG, PR 92bpm, RR 22cpm, spo2 92 per cent, gcs 15,” Oke-Osanyintolu said.
“Oxygen was administered with Nasal Cannula at 4 lit for 45mins and his bleeding was controlled and dressed with 1m 75mg of diclofenac and he was also given a litre of Normal Saline.”
While he kept the details of the man, he said the motive of the suicide attempt was yet to be identified as investigation was ongoing.
Suicide In Nigeria
Attempting suicide is an offence in Nigeria, punishable under Section 327 of the Criminal Code Act. It carries a penalty of up to one year in prison.
In 2015, the Lagos State Government, amended its law to recommend hospital treatment for those who have attempted suicide to bring the alarming rate of suicide and suicide attempts under control.
The major causes have been identified as depression and anxiety linked to a high level of poverty, economic hardship, marital issues or other pressures.
A 2017 report by WHO found that Nigerians have the highest incidences of depression in Africa, with around 7,079,815 suffering from depression, a figure that represents 3.9 per cent of the population.
Nigeria lacks the infrastructure necessary to deal with mental health problems, Hauwa Jeifo, a suicide survivor and mental health expert once said in an interview with African Argument.
“We need to focus on preventive strategies for mental health by empowering teachers, children and younger generation from 9-21 years old with the knowledge about mental health care and how they can help themselves emotionally or avoid mental health breakdown,” she told African Argument.
“Statistics have shown that 50 per cent of mental illnesses are formed before the age of 14. So imagine the benefits, if we empower our young ones about mental health in schools from the age of five.”
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