Doctors believe that in the recent years at least 1000 people are killed annually as a result of pesticide ingestion in Nepal. The easy availability of the agrochemicals and the use of highly potent pesticides in the agriculture sector are to blame for the unfortuate loss of lives.
Nepal police claims that in the last five years 25,308 people died by suicide, out of which 6,213 died of poisoning. The most common form of poison used was the pesticides. Another study in Chitwan conducted in 2015 showed that 90% of the posioning cases resulted from deliberate consumption of pesticides.
If the attempted suicide events are to be counted then pesticides appear as the most preferred method of suicide in Nepal. The reason behind this being pesticides that can kill people are readily available in the market, they do not need prescriptions and anyone can buy it. Earlier to pesticides, strangulation by hanging was the most common method.
Though there is conflict on the amount of pesticide use in Nepal, it is pretty clear that the amount is drastically high in recent days. If the state of affairs was not already bad, the farmers opt to use the most toxic of the pesticides so that all the pests die in one go.
The only silver lining in the sky is that Nepal is tryng to collaborate with researchers abroad to identify and ban the problematic pesticides that are killing the people. Besides being implicated in suicides, the pesticide use is suspected to be the root cause of increase in various endocrine diseases in the nation. The only way out could be decreasing the overall reliance on the use of pesticides in agriculture.
Complete article- Suicide by pesticide in Nepal by Sonia Awale- NepaliTimes
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