Six out of your 10 friends have thought of committing suicide

Friday September 23 2016
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About three weeks ago, Mustafa Lule, who can also be known as the Mabirizi jumper, attempted to end his life

Defined as the deliberate act of killing oneself, suicide is a social and public health problem. Globally, it is the 10th leading cause of deaths.

According to Prof Emilio Ovuga, a psychiatrist at Gulu University, 90 per cent of suicides are as a result of mental disorder and of these; depression is the most common, accounting for about 70 per cent.

Prof Ovuga says suicide is categorised as completed or successful if one’s action leads to death and it is attempted suicide if the action fails to kill the person.

About three weeks ago,

VIDEO: Man falls from the rooftop of Mabirizi Complex

Saturday September 03 2016


A man in his late twenties has this afternoon fallen from the rooftop of Mabirizi Complex in the city Centre.

The man, identified as Kalule Mustafa, a resident of Kawempe was seen on the roof top of the six story building before suddenly jumping with his arms spread out to the shock of onlookers who were still trying to make out why he was a top the building.

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The victim lies besides the car he damaged in his suicide attempt. Courtesy Photo

Fortunately for him, he landed on top of a car that had been parked by the roadside, thus escaping death with serious injuries. He however left the car damaged.

Reasons for his actions are not yet known but he has been rushed to Mulago Hospital for treatment.

“There is no evidence that he (Mustafa) wanted to commit suicide, we suspect that he just fell off from the building,” Mr Emilian Kayima, the political commissar and Kampala Metropoitan police spokesperson.

This story is being updated

. This had the 17-year-old struggling to survive and nursing a severely fractured arm in the eleventh ward at Mulago referral hospital.

At the hospital, Lule lies on his hospital bed writhing in pain from his left arm, with a big chunk of his blue and red semi-woolen blanket hanging on one end of the corridor.

With a faint smile, he stretches out his hand and mumbles something to his seemingly weary mother who is standing by his bedside with folded arms. She pulls the blanket and covers him, leaving his heavily bandaged arm suspended in the air.

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His reason

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From Mabirizi complex, you can see Mapera house, one of the tallest buildings in the City.


Lule says he dropped out of school in Primary Three because he had an intellectual disability and started the hustle in life thereafter. At a tender age, he was forced to fend for himself since he was not his stepmother’s favourite person and his father was not supportive.

He was chanced to get a job down town in Kampala, popularly known as Kiyembe where he sold sewing machines. Lule was his family’s abode and always sent money to his separated parents and paid siblings’ fees.

That evening when his boss fired him, he felt useless and thought of ending his life. He was depressed and kept to himself. After weighing options of either poisoning or hanging himself, he resorted to falling off a building, and according to him, Mabirizi was the most accessible. He believed he would die instantly.

“I went to Mapeera house along Kampala road but the security was tight. They asked for an identification which I did not have and was told to move away. That’s when I decided to go to Mabirizi where I ascended the stairs to the rooftop without any hindrance,” he recollects, with so much confidence written on his scared face.

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Screen grab showing the location of Mabirizi complex.

His 36-year-old mother Amatu Namakula says she received the news from her sister who ran home to her compound in Lukadde Kagoma shouting that Lule was dead. She fainted and her sister accompanied her to Mulago. “I was hopeless and could neither stand nor walk. For two days, my son was unconscious, he could neither eat nor speak,” she recounts.

Lule is the second born among five siblings. His mother had left him and his elder sibling at their father’s home in Bugoba in Kawempe.

However,

My son is not mentally disturbed - Mother to Mabirizi Complex survivor

Thursday September 08 2016

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A man who at the weekend jumped off Mabirizi Complex, a storey-building in the city centre, has spoken out for the first time, saying he never intended to commit suicide.

Basing on police information, we wrongly reported on Wednesday that 17-year-old Mustapha Lule, a resident of Katooke in Wakiso District, had died after throwing himself off the high-rise building.

A video clip circulated on social media shows Lule plunging down with arms stretched out before dropping first with a thud on a parked car and collapsing motionless on bitumen surface.

Doctors at Mulago Hospital said CT scan shows Lule, who can talk and walk unaided, suffered “trauma" after the fall but his bones remained largely intact except for a fracture on his left arm.

Speaking to Daily Monitor from his bed, Mr Lule said he was a troubled soul and distressed after losing his tailoring job in the city.

“I was a tailor but with few clients and sometimes I would close the day without [money for] transport [fare] back home,” he said, adding: “I have many problems in my life that sometimes I regret why I was born.”

Mr Lule claims that he scaled up to Mabirizi Complex roof-top to “relax a bit” and “have some fresh air”. “I only regained consciousness on my hospital bed," he said, "And those attending to me narrated what had happened to me. I regret everything and I am so sorry to whomever I could have caused harm or pain.”

Mr Lule, a Primary Seven drop-out, said he was living with his younger brother in a rented house in Nansana, outside Kampala. Their monthly rent bill is Shs50, 000.

"I have never had any girlfriend in my life," he said, writhing.
If and when he recuperates, Lule says he plans to buy new sewing machines and start up a tailoring school to empower young people to get out of poverty.

Lule’s mother, Ms Amatu Namakula, describes her son as "hardworking, brilliant and visionary who loves people".
She thanked well-wishers who have contributed generously to the treatment of her son.

“Lule is feeling a lot of pain inside the body and the face because of injuries but we hope he will be fine,” Ms Namakula said.
The mother says she momentarily passed out on watching the video of Lule's fall.

Ms Namakula is an unemployed resident of Kagoma in Kawempe, a Kampala surbub, who separated with her husband Siliman Ssebirumbi when Lule was seven-years-old.

“But I sometimes communicate with Lule and his other brother, although I take long without meeting them. He last came to my house two weeks ago begging for Shs15,000 to look after himself. He told me he had been beaten by some people over failure to pay debts,” the mother re-collects.

WHERE IS MABIRIZI COMPLEX

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Screen grab showing the location of Mabirizi complex.

Mabirizi complex is a seven storey building located in Kampala’s city centre, adjacent to the Central Police Station.

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From Mabirizi complex, you can see Mapera house, one of the tallest buildings in the City.

 
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“I have asked him over and over in vain. It seems he is hiding something so fatal, that’s why he doesn’t disclose to me,” she says.

Suicide survivor discharged from Mulago Hospital

Sunday September 18 2016

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Mustapha Lule, the 17 year-old boy, who a few weeks ago jumped off Mabirizi Complex, a five-storied structure in Kampala city has been discharged from hospital.

 However, his caretaker- local musician, Ms Florence Namirimu told Daily Monitor on Sunday that Lule is still in pain.

 “He was discharged to give room to other patients in critical condition, but he still feels pain especially on the face and arms,” Ms Namirimu said.

 The victim’s mother, Ms Hamatu Namakula says she has taken her son to her home at Kagoma, a suburb of Kampala to recuperate before he can returns to his rented room.

 Mulago hospital spokesperson Enoch Kusaasira says Lule is out of danger.

 “By the time a patient is discharged, it means they are stable enough and one can only return as an outpatient,” he said.

 On September 3, Lule jumped off the rooftop of Mabirizi Complex along Kampala road, in what many viewed as a suicide attempt.

  He fell on top of a vehicle, which was parked outside the building injuring his head. Luckily, his injuries were not fatal, and since his admission at Mulago hospital, he has made a significant recovery.

 At the time, doctors said he had suffered trauma but his bones remained largely intact except for a fracture on his left arm.

 Speaking to Daily Monitor from his hospital bed days later, Mr Lule said he was a troubled soul and distressed after losing his tailoring job in the city.

 He also expressed deep regret at his actions.

 

 


Although experts say those who have previously attempted to commit suicide are at higher risk for future attempts, Lule is remorseful. With all the media attention and the fact that he survived, he says he can never think about committing suicide again.

“I believe God saved me for a reason. There is something he has in store for me. Next time I will know better how to deal with my losses and stresses,” he says.

He has skills in repairing sewing machines and believes he can earn a living through this when he heals.

Dr Edgar Muhumuza, a neural surgeon and senior consultant in charge of the neuro ward where he underwent treatment says Lule is a survivor and only has to undergo treatment for his fractured arm.
“I suspect he landed on his limbs. Had it been by the neck or head, he would have died instantly or by now because his brain would be injured. Remember the brain has nowhere to swell to, so one dies incidentally,” he explains.

Another man jumps from city building rooftop

Thursday September 22 2016

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A man yet to be identified has jumped off Garden City rooftop and landed onto a vehicle registration number UAS 797K.
Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Mr Emilian Kayima, says the man believed to be aged between 25 and 30 years has been severely injured.
Kayima added that the injured man has been admitted at Mulago hospital with multiple fractures.
However, he added that he will be prosecuted on charges of attempted suicide upon recovery.

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People gather at Garden City in Kampala last year after a man jumped from the rooftop in a suicide attempt

"We wish him well, but as soon as he recovers we shall charge him with attempted suicide", said Mr Kayima.
This comes just weeks after 17 year-old Mustapha Lule

VIDEO: Man falls from the rooftop of Mabirizi Complex

Saturday September 03 2016


A man in his late twenties has this afternoon fallen from the rooftop of Mabirizi Complex in the city Centre.

The man, identified as Kalule Mustafa, a resident of Kawempe was seen on the roof top of the six story building before suddenly jumping with his arms spread out to the shock of onlookers who were still trying to make out why he was a top the building.

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The victim lies besides the car he damaged in his suicide attempt. Courtesy Photo

Fortunately for him, he landed on top of a car that had been parked by the roadside, thus escaping death with serious injuries. He however left the car damaged.

Reasons for his actions are not yet known but he has been rushed to Mulago Hospital for treatment.

“There is no evidence that he (Mustafa) wanted to commit suicide, we suspect that he just fell off from the building,” Mr Emilian Kayima, the political commissar and Kampala Metropoitan police spokesperson.

This story is being updated

Complex rooftop in an attempted suicide and is yet to be

Mabirizi Complex suicide survivor to face the law

Tuesday September 20 2016

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KAMPALA- Kampala Metropolitan Police commanders are torn between pursuing a compassionate path or criminal action against the 17-year-old boy who jumped off Mabirizi Complex, a five-storeyed structure on Kampala Road, in a suspected attempt to take away his life.

Mr Mustapha Lule was discharged from Mulago National Referral Hospital at the weekend where he was admitted following the incident.

Detectives at Central Police Station Kampala opened an attempted suicide case against Mr Lule.
They are now contemplating on whether to summon Mr Lule to record a statement or not.

Mr Emilian Kayima, the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman said they are compassionate about Mr Lule’s fate, but the law must be enforced so that no other person attempts to commit suicide.

“Nobody has the right to take his life or that of another. Lule will be taken to court because he attempted to commit suicide,” Mr Kayima said yesterday.

According to Section 210 of the Penal Code Act, any person who attempts to kill himself or herself commits a misdemeanor.
A misdemeanor is a minor offence that is punishable with imprisonment of a period not exceeding two years.

Sorry but ...
Mr Kayima said although they are compassionate about Mr Lule’s side of the story that could have led him to jump off the building, they can’t allow people with pressing challenges to resort to suicide.

“The message must be clear that problems are part of life. And those with such problems must seek counselling other than killing themselves.

Prosecuting Lule will send a message to others that what he attempted to do is punishable under the law,” he said.

Suicide incidents by people squeezed by economic hardship have triggered political unrest that have toppled governments.

Suicide
Suicide incidents by people squeezed by economic hardship have triggered political unrest that have toppled governments.

In 2010, Tarek el-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi, a fruit vendor in Tunisia, set himself on fire when city officials confiscated his merchandise.
His actions sparked off protests in Arab countries leading to the fall of three regimes.

In 2014, Annet Ashaba, 26, returned from Dubai only to find out that she had been cheated of her earnings she had been sending to a relative in Uganda to build for her a house.
She jumped from the 14th floor at Workers House on Kampala Road and crashed to death.

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on charges of attempted suicide.

What the law says

According to Section 210 of the Penal Code Act, any person who attempts to kill himself or herself commits a misdemeanor.
A misdemeanor is a minor offence that is punishable with imprisonment of a period not exceeding two years.

Suicide
Suicide incidents by people squeezed by economic hardship have triggered political unrest that have toppled governments.

In 2010, Tarek el-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi, a fruit vendor in Tunisia, set himself on fire when city officials confiscated his merchandise.
His actions sparked off protests in Arab countries leading to the fall of three regimes.

In 2014, Annet Ashaba, 26, returned from Dubai only to find out that she had been cheated of her earnings she had been sending to a relative in Uganda to build for her a house.
She jumped from the 14th floor at Workers House on Kampala Road and crashed to death.

READ MORE

Primary five pupil reports teacher for defilement, expelled for being rumor-monger

Thursday September 22 2016


MBALE.

For volunteering information in a defilement case against a teacher, 31, a primary five pupil and an orphan, Boniface Gewu, has been expelled from Covenant Primary School, Mbale, for ‘gross indiscipline’.

According to Police, Gewu was expelled at the end of second term by head teacher Jimmy Nambiro.

“He was expelled for gross indiscipline according to the expulsion letter. However, we are treating it with suspicion because the pupil is an eyewitness in a defilement case against one of their own teachers,” said Mr Jorem Okwako, the investigation officer in-charge of the case at CPS, Mbale Town.

Mr Okwako told Daily Monitor that the pupil allegedly gave a witness account of how he saw the teacher, now on remand in Malukhu prisons, defiling a 14-year-old primary seven schoolgirl in his office when he peeped through a window and alerted his colleagues.
One of the pupils interviewed on Monday at the school (names withheld), said Gewu was blamed by the teachers for disclosing to fellow pupils instead of reporting the matter directly to the headmaster.

“The teachers said that he has bad manners because he spread the rumors,” a pupil said.

The teacher, a resident of Northern Division, Mbale district, is said to have committed the offence on August, 8, 2016.
He was later arrested and charged with aggravated defilement.


Dr Raymond Odokonyero, a psychiatrist at Butabika National referral hospital attributes causes of suicidal thoughts to mental disorders such as depression, bipolar, alcoholism, and or substance misuse. Other causes include domestic violence, problems with social networks and sad events in life.

The rest of the cases of suicidal behaviour, Odokonyero says, are due to stress in daily life, problems in relationships, poverty, unemployment, job loss, chronic health conditions such as heart failure and kidney failure, stigma due to HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses like cancer.

However, suicide can be hereditary. Chances are that if there are suicide victims in one’s lineage, he or she is likely to follow the trend.

The commonest methods of suicide are hanging, poisoning and use of fire arms.

Suicides worldwide
In Uganda, the World Health Organisation data published in May 2014 revealed suicide deaths had reached 4,323 or 1.35 per cent of total deaths.

The age adjusted death rate is 18.67 per 100,000 of the population, which ranks Uganda 17th in the world. Suicide rates in neighbouring Tanzania are higher at 23.34 and lower in Kenya at 11.68 per 100,000.

Three quarters of suicides globally occur in the developing world. Rates of completed suicides are generally higher in men than in women, ranging from 1.5 times as much in the developing world to 3.5 times in the developed world.

Prof Ovuga notes that suicide is generally common among those over the age of 70 in high-income countries; however, in Uganda, it is common among youth aged 24 to 34 years, and 90 percent of suicides are medical.

Notably, wowen attempt suicide four times more than men and men succeed four times more than women.

Globally, there are an estimated 10-20 million non-fatal attempted suicides every year. These attempts may lead to injury and long-term disabilities and are common in young people and females in the western world.

Signs of a suicidal mind
Dr Muhumuza says people contemplating committing suicide normally have behavioural changes such as keeping to themselves. “People who are generally known as friendly start keeping to themselves. Others suddenly change their mood,” he says.

Some behave abnormally and do things that they are not supposed to do, for instance urinating in awkward places.
Besides isolation, suicidal persons tend to be unnecessarily apologetic, want to pay all debts and give away possessions or ask others to take care of their loved ones.

Before you jump
Twenty per cent of the population in Uganda has conteplated suicide. Six in ten people randomly interviewed on the street by this newspaper admitted to have had suicidal thoughts at least once or twice in their lifetime.

Among them was 26-year-old Patrick Ssebufu, a street preacher who says he was diagnosed with kidney failure last year and in the same period his girlfriend ended their four-year-old relationship.
“Everything was a mess. I was not in good terms with my Muslim parents. Dying was going to be that simple. I just had to stop taking my medication,” he shares.
Luckily, his church members came home to pray for his health and he had to rethink his position.

Also Ruth Kanyago, a receptionist, says she was saved by the bell one time when she found out she had been lied to by her baby’s father who promised to marry her, only to find out he was cohabiting with his ex-girlfriend, with who he had earlier claimed he had cut ties.

“I left work that day, bought poison and ran back to my room. I sat on my bed for 30 minutes and was only saved by my daughter’s cries in the compound,” she recalls.

Prevention
Like the adage prevention is better than cure, Nobert Bwana, a psychotherapist, says the commonest methods for controlling suicidal behaviour are medication and psychotherapy or counselling.
Mr Bwana advises families and friends to refer the persons concerned to a mental health professional if they declare suicidal feelings.

The locus of association states that people will likely commit suicide where somedody else has been successful. Therefore, Odokonyero says media should give less coverage to these places during incidents.
In case of depression, seek cancelling. “Counsellors are very helpful in changing the minds of suicidal persons. Do not keep to yourself,” cautions Henry Nsubuga, a counselling psychologist.
Lastly, limit access to methods of suicide for instance by tightening security in tall buildings and restricting sale of poisons.

Did you know?
What happens when you drop by the head
A head injury is defined as any sort of injury to the brain, skull, or scalp. Dr Muhumuza says head injuries range from a bruise to a traumatic brain injury.

He goes ahead to explain they can be minor or severe and external or internal with the commonest being scalp wounds, skull fractures, concussions which is a sudden but short-lived loss of mental function that occurs after injury to the head.
Additionally, a person with concussion may appear confused, but may not necessarily be unconscious.

Severe head injuries are coupled with damaged brains. “The brain is damaged and develops a crop or brain swelling, which is a bad indicator,” Dr Muhumuza explains, adding that this is because once the brain swells, it shuts down or one automatically dies.

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