About suicides, screening and caring in Kenya

Today, we managed to screen police officers in Webuye’s police station and also some local people who were on the market. The screening focuses on diabetes and hypertension.

One of the police officers said: “I really like and appreciate this screening. It’s the first time ever that someone started to think of such an exercise and availed such a service to our place of work.”

The sentence the policeman said, is very critical and emotional, too. And reflecting the need for thinking and doing differently if all of us want to make this world a better one.

A lack of caring – a reason for rising numbers of suicides in Kenya?

As stated recently (https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2000135620/rising-suicide-rate-cause-for-worry)

“Last month, a third-year Bachelor of Information Science student in Nyeri committed suicide by setting himself on fire. Last week, a 12-year-old boy committed suicide in Trans A few days before this tragic end of a child’s life, an Administration Police officer took his life in Garissa. In the past two months alone, five police officers have committed suicide.

Clearly, there is a suicide crisis in Kenya. Tellingly, this problem is afflicting the whole world. According to a World Health Organisation report released earlier this month, someone in the world commits suicide every 40 seconds. Consequently, suicide kills more people than floods, earthquakes and all other forms of natural catastrophe, together with conflicts in places like Iraq and Somalia.”

The screening described above is more than just a medical preventional doing. It’s about starting to care. For others. To each other. Beyond traditional borders and structures. But focusing on human beings. Mental health issues and exclusion are everywhere.

* The screening program in Bungoma county in West Kenya is a screening program that has been launched in January 2019. More than 15000 people will be screened on diabetes and hypertension. It is a program run by Boehringer Ingelheim and Ampath.

Addition: In October 2019 nearly 60,000 people have been screened and the screening is ongoing…

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