The male suicide rate is four times higher than females in Botswana.
The country has one of the highest suicide rates in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region according to World Population Review.
With a suicide mortality rate of 16.1 per 100, 000 population, Botswana comes in third in the region. Lesotho tops the region with total suicide rate of 72.4, while South Africa comes in second with total suicide rate of 23.5.
Whilst research shows that women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression and to attempt suicide in most countries around the world, the male suicide rate is still several times higher than female in Botswana.
The World Population Review states that the male suicide rate in Botswana is 26.3 while the female rate is 6.4. In Lesotho the male suicide rate is 116 while the female suicide rate is 30.1. In South Africa the male suicide rate is 37.6 while the female suicide rate is 9.8.
Almost 800,000 people are believed to commit suicide every year in the world, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and this is why suicide prevention features in one of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
“Although some countries have placed suicide prevention high on their agendas, too many countries remain uncommitted. Currently only 38 countries are known to have a national suicide prevention strategy. A significant acceleration in the reduction of suicides is needed to meet the SDG target of a one-third reduction in the global suicide rate by 2030,” says WHO.
Data also shows that almost 40 percent of countries in the world have more than 15 suicide deaths per 100, 000 men and only 1.6% show a rate that high for women.
Suicide in Botswana is an immensely complex issue with interwoven causes – and the very nature of a death by suicide means we can never fully know the reasons behind it. If you’re thinking about suicide, contact the Botswana Suicide Hotline: 3911270.