Experts and scientists are to discuss the rising trend of suicide among Nigerians at the annual scientific conference of the Nigerian Medical Association in the FCT.

The association says a brainstorm at the scientific this week will present a path to some solution to the rising trend of suicides, and present it to the government.

“We need to identify the causes, find a solution and present it to relevant authorities,” said Dr Philips Ekpe, chairman of the FCT chapter of NMA.

It comes amidst media reports of dozens of Nigerians who have killed themselves, and the consequences for their bereaved.

Media monitoring alone shows 42 Nigerians have killed themselves in the first six months of this year alone—11 of them students.

Last year, 80 Nigerians killed themselves in 13 months, reports said.

They did so by hanging, using a weapon, jumping into water. This year, the number of people dying after drinking insecticide has begun to rise, prompting food and drug authorities to ban sale of a particular brand of insecticide.

At least 15 out of every 100,000 Nigerians kill themselves each year, according to report by the World Health Organisation.

That makes Nigeria the 30th position among the most suicide-prone countries globally.

Globally 800,000 people kill themselves each year—that one every 40 seconds.

“All these things are not far from financial and economic situation, and violence, coupled with mental health issues,” said Ekpe.

Panelists at the conference will also discuss medical jurisprudence, especially the difficulties surrounding treatment of gunshot victims in hospitals and the demand for a police report.

Ekpe said while doctors are under oath to treat every life, police have sometimes accused doctors of treating patients who are considered criminals.

“We have had cases where doctors treat patient and then report to police. The patient turns out to be a criminal and the doctor and his entire family are assassinated,” said Ekpe.

The conference flagged off on Sunday, followed by a medical outreach to Chibiri, a rural community in Kuje area council.

Ophthalmic surgeons on the team will perform cataract surgery on at least 15 patients, while physicians test and treat hundreds of residents for common ailments.

All procedures and medications are offered free of charge.

NMA says it is complementing health care in the area, but will report its findings to the FCT’s health and human services secretariat to help boost health care delivery in the area.

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