Background and Aims Suicide is a major hidden public health problem, causing almost half of all violent deaths and resulting in almost one million fatalities every year, as well as economic costs in the billions of dollars, says the World Health Organization (WHO). The aim of this study is to describe the main characteristics of suicidal poisoning in Mali.
Methods A descriptive retrospective analysis of voluntary poisoning cases, recorded between 2000 and 2010 in Malian hospitals, was performed.
Results During the period of study, a total of 547 suicidal poisoning cases including 65 cases of successful suicide have been identified, constituting 62.6% of voluntary poisoning notified during this period. Most victims are teenagers and young adults aged 15–24 years (62.2%). For this age bracket, the number of suicide attempts is 7.7 times higher than that for successful suicide. According to data recorded, women make 2.4 times more suicide attempts than men. The medication intake is the primary means employed by victims (71.3%), followed by industrial products (15.3%). The poisoning symptoms are varied, depending on involved toxins, the ingested quantity and the delay before treatment.
Conclusions During their hospitalization, suicide attempters should receive careful medical and psychiatric supervision to avoid the risk of recurrence.