Sets to intensify public awareness, engagements
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
As the world marks World Suicide Prevention Day, a humanitarian organization, One Love Foundation, OLF, Friday, called for strict regulation of the nation’s pharmaceutical industry in order to curtail the worrisome sale of suicidal drugs to young people.
The is was stated by the Founder and President, OLF, Chief Patrick Eholor, while speaking with Vanguard on the day with the theme, Working Together To Prevent Suicide’, which Elohor expressed concern over the alarming rate of suicide cases in the country.
The 2020 World Suicide Prevention Day is observed every September 10th, which is to create awareness across the world in order to prevent and reduce the rate of suicide deaths.
He said: “For the report that indicated that Lagos had 60 cases of suicide deaths, I think that was really low. Truly speaking, Nigeria has no database to check these things. If Nigeria has a database, it will be in thousands of people that die every day. What people know is a report from the news media.
“The only my Foundation, One Love Foundation, OLF, can come in is to write to the Ministry of Information so that there can be some public awareness, and the government has to wake up to shut down a lot of pharmaceutical shops including ‘chemists’ because there have to be regulations and deterrent.
“People have to go out there with a prescription. In an ideal and developed society or even when I was growing up if you don’t have a prescription by a doctor no chemist-man sells medication to you. The only thing you can buy from the counter is just pain relief like cafenol or panadol. Also, Nigeria too has not sensitised and sanitised their pharmaceutical environment.
“So, the failure and irresponsibility again are in the government. We are not going to blame the people but we must blame the government for not creating enabling environment.”
He further stated that there is really suffering and frustration in the land that has led to mental illnesses and depression in the country which have made a lot of young people commit suicide.
“What causes depression and suicide? Depression leads to suicide. Now, if you look at the majority of people committing suicide, and if you look at the statistics they are high in number as young adults.
“When you have a situation such as we have in Nigeria lockdown, where everybody stays home without providing for themselves and loved ones it can lead to depression, and depression leads to suicide.
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“So I think we are going to be a serious trouble fight as a nation because if you live in an ideal society and people are going through the difficult situation the government provides you a counselor who counsels you and explains to you.
“Some people grow up in extreme poverty and after they train their son or daughter in school, and after training them in school, then they graduate then taught the right thing all their lives, and finally the government creates an enabling environment where people will have gainful employment are absent”, he said.
He also maintained that his Foundation will not rest but ensure it intensifies sensitization campaigns to reduce the trend.
“We just have to continue to do our best as One Love Foundation to make sure that we have public campaign and awareness but it will not stop it but reduce the number and prevent them.
“We have to encourage them that they can seek opportunities and do something in life, engage themselves because an idle heart is the devil’s workshop”, he stated.