Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 477
Limiting pesticide access to minimize suicide incidence

Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication22-Jun-2017

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Limiting pesticide access to minimize suicide incidence. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:477

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Limiting pesticide access to minimize suicide incidence. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2020 Nov 23];10:477. Available from:
Dear Sir,

Suicides have been acknowledged as one of the major public health concerns with around 75% of the global suicides are being reported in low and middle income nations.[1],[2] In-fact, suicides results in deaths of more than 0.8 million people each year, and is even identified as the second most common cause of fatality among people in the age category of 15-29 years.[1],[2] Across the world, India alone accounts for 40% of suicides each year, with Tamil Nadu being the worst affected, and maximum prevalence observed among farmers owing to the prompt access to pesticides.[3] Nevertheless, the major concern is that more often than not, accurate estimates are not available as a large proportion of cases are never reported.[2]

Moreover, suicides are mostly preventable through adoption of timely measures and by minimizing the access to the predominant modes of suicides.[2],[4] Further, it has been estimated that out of the 10 global suicides, 3 result due to intake of pesticides, especially in rural surroundings.[1],[4],[5] Realizing the potential risk in the region, a large-scale qualitative study was performed in two villages of the Tamil Nadu to know people perceptions about suicides.[3] As most of the victims committed suicides by consuming pesticides, a central storage facility was built with an aim to minimize pesticide accessibility.[3] Subsequent annual analysis suggested much better results with almost 85% reduction in the incidence of suicides, predominantly due to the thorough community engagement in the entire process.[3],[6] Further, there is a definitive plan to expand the intervention in all those regions with pesticides intake being the primary reason for suicides.[3] This can be regarded as one of the key milestones towards achieving the target of minimizing suicides rate by 10% in each nation by 2020.[1],[2] In addition, there is a crucial need to create awareness among the people as well as the healthcare workers to ensure reduction in the incidence of suicides.[1],[3]

In conclusion, pesticides intake remains the most frequent method of committing suicides globally. However, results of the intervention have delivered quite encouraging results and have paved the way for further improvement in heterogeneous settings.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

World Health Organization. Preventing suicide: A global imperative. Geneva: WHO press; 2014. p. 1-3.  Back to cited text no. 1
World Health Organization. Suicide - Fact sheet N°398; 2015. Available from:[Last accessed on 2016 Feb 26].  Back to cited text no. 2
World Health Organization. Reducing suicide in rural India by limiting access to pesticides; 2015. Available from: [Last accessed on 2016 Feb 27].  Back to cited text no. 3
Kanchan T. Preferred methods of suicide and most common poisonings in India. Toxicol Int 2014;21:341.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Banerjee S, Chowdhury AN, Schelling E, Weiss MG. Household survey of pesticide practice, deliberate self-harm, and suicide in the Sundarban region of West Bengal, India. Biomed Res Int 2013;2013:949076.  Back to cited text no. 5
Vijayakumar L, Jeyaseelan L, Kumar S, Mohanraj R, Devika S, Manikandan S. A central storage facility to reduce pesticide suicides--a feasibility study from India. BMC Public Health 2013;13:850.  Back to cited text no. 6

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, 3rd Floor, Ammapettai, Thiruporur–Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.196834

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