Paul Kaonga was shocked when a large number of people woke up at midnight from the outskirts of Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi.
The crying came from a nearby house. Kaonga quickly took off some clothes. Panicked family members report that neighbor Kondwani Botha killed himself.
The 31-year-old father, who was stuck in debt due to a coronavirus, struggled to keep up with the construction business.”He is on his knees and soak in financial trouble,” Kyonga said.
It was the third suicide heard in two weeks in the vicinity of the Ganges.A few days later, another man in financial distress took his own life. Kanga,who works as a pastor, blame this financial crisis was by the epidemic.
“People venture to take money from debt sharks to pay their workers,” Kaonga explained.“Before you know it, you can’t pay it back.
One of the poorest countries
The epidemic is already one of the poorest countries in the world, and when the epidemic hit it severely damaged the economy.
According to the International Food Policy Research Institute, half of the 18.6 million people in Malawi live below the poverty line, with another 1.1 million falling into this category.
Many people in the South African country rely on odd jobs due to daily road trade and traffic restrictions.
Economist Bethany Tenny says coronaviruses in Malawi have disrupted “normal business practices”, losing 2.7 million jobs this year. Police spokesman Peter Kalaya suspect an increase in suicides.
Suicides from January to August 2020 are 50 percent higher than last year.
Family conflicts, chronic illness and inability to repay debts are the most common causes. “We are very upset,” Kalaya Said.
He said citizens have taken an active approach by creating awareness on how to deal with stress.
Malawi fisherman inspects charcoal dried fish off the coast of Lake Malawi. Most Malawians rely on daily street trading and odd jobs.
Mental health professionals have also raised the alarm about the possibility of suicide.
Beatrice Chiphwanya, a psychologist who runs a private practice in the city of Blantyre, said she has helped unusually high clients overcome suicidal thoughts this year.Beatrice said people deal with many worries and uncertainties related to education, health and finance.
Mental health care
He said it was unfortunate that treatment in this country was not a completely normalized service. “It’s not cheap, so a lot of Malawans are still committing suicide.” Most public facilities in Malawi are in short supply and provide adequate mental health care during the global health crisis.To date, more than 5,950 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the country, killing 185 people.
Health Ministry official Immaculate Conception said psychiatrists in government hospitals were asked to help with infectious diseases and pediatric wards before the outbreak.
“These people are not only focused on mental health,” he said, adding that basic mental health training was provided to all hospital staff for compensation.
Gerald Namwaza, a Malawian expert and UK-based mental care charity researcher, said corona viruses have already exacerbated the suffering of discriminated and stigmatized patients. “In Malawi … people with mental health problems are often ridiculed and liked,” Namwaza said. He said they were more likely to commit suicide when sent alone due to coronavirus.”It’s a double threat to them.”