• Oluwabunmi Buhari University of Ilorin
  • Rapheal Ogbolu Suicide Research and Prevention Initiative/ Department of Psychiatry, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Adebusola Ogunmodede University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin
  • Ayodeji Erubu University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital,
  • Amina Mohammed General Hospital, Ilorin




suicide, media, reportage, Nigeria


Suicide is increasingly becoming a public health concern. Reporting and portrayal of suicide in media may largely contribute to this. Gaining an insight into the pattern and possible risk factors may help in the design of effective preventive measures. The aim of the study was to generate a 2-year data of suicide reportage in media in Nigeria. This was a retrospective purposive Content analysis of all media suicide reportage in Nigeria between January 2019 - December 2020.  Data was entered into an excel spread sheet. Duplication was avoided. The statistical package for social sciences, version 22 was used for analysis. Frequencies and percentages of relevant variables were generated. Chi square and Fisher’s exact test was used to assess associations. Significant value was set at p<0.05. One hundred and eighteen suicide deaths were identified. Mean age was 30.65+ 12.66 with highest rate among age 20-39 years (51.7%). Majority were males (73.7%). Commonest method used was pesticide ingestion (56.8%) followed by hanging (27.1%).  Identifiable associated factors included financial challenges, academic challenges, and relational problems. Pesticide use was commoner among younger age group (p< 0.001) and female sex (p < 0.024). The common use of organophosphates which is used in pesticides may be due to the fact that it is a common household tool used to control insects and rodents in many low- and middle-income countries. It is easy to access and affordable, these coupled with social media reportage makes it a ready tool especially for those already contemplating suicide. The study highlights the current reality of suicides in Nigeria. It brings to the fore, the need for proper surveillance to drive a contextualized approach to suicide prevention.  


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Rapheal Ogbolu, Suicide Research and Prevention Initiative/ Department of Psychiatry, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria


Suicide Research and Prevention Initiative, Nigeria (SURPIN)


Adebusola Ogunmodede, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin


Department of Behavioural Sciences, 

University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital,

Ilorin, Nigeria

Ayodeji Erubu, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital,

Department of Behavioural sciences,

University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital,


Amina Mohammed, General Hospital, Ilorin


Psychiatry Department,

General Hospital,

Ilorin, Nigeria


Adesugba A. (2021). Mobile technology, social media and 180 million people. Insights into Economics and Management, 10, 25-30. Doi.org/10.9734/bpi/ieam/v10/2.098F

Akinremi R. (2019). Traders in Abuja freely sell Sniper in open markets, month after NAFDAC banned product. International Centre for Investigative Reporting. https://www.icirnigeria.org/petty-traders-freely-sell-snipers-in-open-markets-month-after-nafdac-banned-the-sales/

Bachmann S. (2018). Epidemiology of Suicide and the Psychiatric Perspective. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(7), 425. doi 10.3390/ijerph 15071425

Banerjee D, Kosagisharaf, JR and Sathyanarayana Rao TS. (2021). ‘The dual pandemic’ of suicide and COVID-19: A biopsychosocial narrative of risks and prevention. Psychiatry Research, 295, 113577. doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113577

Bertolote JM, Fleischmann A, De Leo D, Wasserman D. (2003). Suicide and mental disorders: do we know enough? British Journal of Psychiatry, 183, 382 – 383. doi: 10.1192/bjp.183.5.382. PMID: 14594911.

Chikezie UE, Otakpor AN, Kuteyi OB, James BO. (2012). Suicidality among individuals with HIV/AIDS in Benin City, Nigeria: A case-control study. Psychological and Socio-medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV, 24( 7), 843-84 doi: 10.1080/09540121.2011.645008.

Demir M. (2018). Gender Differences in Suicide Rate. Forensic Science and Addiction Research, 2(4), 1- 5. doi/10.3103/ fsar.2018.02

Demir M. (2018). Age differences in suicide methods. Forensic Research & Criminology International Journal, 6(6), 512-517. doi:10.15406/frcij.2018.06.00251

Denning DG, Conwell Y, King D, Cox C. (2000). Method choice, intent, and gender in completed suicide. Suicide Life Threat Behaviour, 30(3), 282-288. Doi.org/10.1111/j.1943-278X.2000.tb00992.x

Ekpendu CM. (2020). The Nigerian law on suicide: A tragic response to a cry for help. International journal of comparative law and legal philosophy. International Journal of Comparative Law and Legal Philosophy (IJOCLLEP), 2 (1), 166-171 https://www.nigerianjournalsonline.com/index.php/IJOCLLEP/index

Faduyile FA, Soyemi SS, Mgbehoma AI, Sanni DA. (2019). Profile of Hanging Deaths in Lagos, Nigeria: A 9‑Year Retrospective Autopsy Study. Annals of Tropical Pathology, 10(1), 11-15. doi: 10.4103/atp.atp_3_19

Gunnell D, Fernando R, Hewagama M, Priyangika WDD, KonradsenF, Eddleston M. (2007). The Impact of Pesticide regulations on suicide in Sri Lanka. International Journal of Epidemiology, 36(6), 1235 – 1242. doi: 10.1093/ije/dym164

Jørs E. Neupane D. London L. (2008). Pesticide poisonings in low- and middle-income countries. Environmental Health Insights, 12, 1- 3. doi: 10.1177/1178630217750876

Lee YY, Chisholm D, Eddleston M, Gunnell D, Fleischmann A, Konradsen F, Bertram MY et al. (2021). The cost-effectiveness of banning highly hazardous pesticides to prevent suicides due to pesticide self-ingestion across 14 countries: an economic modelling study. Lancet Glob Health, 9(3), e291 - e300.

Makinde OA, Odimegwu CO, Udoh MO, Adedini SA, Akinyemi JO, Atobatele A, Fadeyibi O, Sule FA, Babalola S, Orobaton N. (2020). Death registration in Nigeria: a systematic literature review of its performance and challenges. Global Health Action, 13(1), 1811476. doi: 10.1080/16549716.2020.1811476

Mars B, Burrows S, Hjelmeland H, Gunnell D. (2014). Suicide behaviour across the African continent: A review of the literature. BMC public Health, 14, 606. Doi.10.1186/1471-2458-14-60

Olibamoyo O, Ola BA, Ayodele, Coker AO, Adewuya A. (2021). Trends and patterns of suicidal behaviour in Nigeria: Mixed-methods analysis of media reports from 2016 to 2019. South African Journal of Psychiatry, 27(2), 1572. doi/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v27i0.1572

Oyetunji TP, Yasir Arafat SM, Famori SO, Akinboyewa TB, Afolami M, Ajayi MF, Kar SK. (2021). Suicide in Nigeria: observations from the content analysis of newspapers. General Psychiatry, 34, e100347. doi:10.1136/ gpsych-2020-100347.

Randall JR, Doku D, Wilson ML, Peltzer K. (2014). Suicidal Behaviour and Related Risk Factors among School-Aged Youth in the Republic of Benin. PLoS ONE, 9(2), e88233. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088233

Saxena S, Funk M, Chisholm D. (2013). World Health Assembly adopts Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2020. Lancet, .381(9882):1970-1. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61139-3

Stack S. (2003). Media Coverage as a Risk Factor in Suicide. Journal of Epidemiology Community Health, 57, 238 – 240.

Sniper Insecticide (100ml) 3 pieces. www.yaoota.com. www.jiji.ng/feeds-supplements-seeds/pesticide

Umar MU, Armiya'u AY, Ali TM. (2020). Suicide announcement on social media in Nigeria. Indian Journal Social Psychiatry, 36, 119-24. Doi.10.4103/ijsp_27_19

Underdeveloped Countries 2021. World Population Review. https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/underdeveloped-countries

Uwakwe, R., Gureje, O. (2011). The relationship of comorbidity of mental and substance use disorders with suicidal behaviours in the Nigerian Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 46, 173–180. doi.org/10.1007/s00127-009-0178-2

Wasserman D, Carli V, Losue M, Javed A, Herrman H. (2021). Suicide Prevention in Psychiatric patients. Asia-Pacific Psychiatry, e12450. Doi: 10.1111/appy.12450

Williams K. (2002). Influences of the media on suicide. British Medical Journal, 325(7377), 1374- 1375. Doi:10.1136/bmj.325.7377.1374

World Health Organization (2001). World Health Report 2001: Mental Health: New Understanding, New Hope. Geneva: WHO.

World Health Organization (2002). World report on violence and health: summary. Geneva: WHO

World Health Organization (2009). Suicide in the world: Global Health Estimates. Geneva: WHO.

World Health Organization. (2014). Preventing suicide: a global imperative. Geneva: WHO. ISBN 978 92 4 156477 9




How to Cite

Buhari, O., Ogbolu, R., Ogunmodede, A., Erubu, A. ., & Mohammed, A. (2022). A 2 YEAR (2019-2020) ANALYSIS OF SUICIDE REPORTS IN THE NIGERIAN MEDIA. Proceedings of the Global Public Health Conference, 5(1), 36–48. https://doi.org/10.17501/26138417.2022.5105

Most read articles by the same author(s)