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Archive

Pesticide suicides have long been a major problem in Bangladesh, killing thousands of people every year. However, around 20 years ago, the Bangladesh government started to introduce laws to control the use of pesticides in the country and removed some highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs) from agricultural use. Between 1996 and 2007, 21 HHPs were partially or...

China has also seen a remarkable reduction in the number of pesticide suicides over the last 20 years. In the 1990s, there were an estimated 180,000 pesticide suicides each year, often in young women. Recent estimates suggest that there are now around 50,000 deaths from pesticide self-poisoning annually. The incidence of pesticide suicides has clearly fallen...

South Korea has the highest suicide mortality rate (29.1/100,000 population, based on 2012 data) among all Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries. A relatively large proportion of suicides occur from pesticide poisoning compared with other countries - suicide with pesticides accounted for 21% of all suicides in South Korea during 2006 through...

Sri Lanka’s pesticide regulations have contributed to one of the greatest fallen in suicide rates ever seen in the world. Sri Lanka has reduced its suicide rate by 70% (or 93,000 lives) through a series of regulation of pesticides since 1995 (Knipe et al. The Lancet Global Health). Having peaked at 57 per 100 000...

Geetha (not her real name) is a 19-year- old housewife who has been married previously. During her first marriage, she had had a child, now 1 ½ years old. Unfortunately, that marriage had not worked out and so she and her husband had divorced. She has married again and now lives with her second husband’s family....

Nalini (not her real name) is a 22-year- old housewife with a young daughter. Two months before we met her, she had drunk from a bottle of pesticide in a bout of sudden anger towards her husband. At the time, she had not thought of her child or husband and had not wanted to die.She...

Sarath (not his real name) is a 58-year-old Sri Lankan man who works as a labourer and carpenter. Unfortunately, his wife has worked as a migrant worker in the Middle East for most of their married life. He has therefore brought up two girls alone, caring for them, cooking for them, educating them. Sometimes he finds...