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The Ban of Public Sale of Sniper by NAFDAC

According to World Health Organisation, W.H.O, the method used for twenty percent of global suicides was through pesticides self poisoning, with prevalence in rural agricultural areas in low and middle income countries.

Nigeria is not left out of this unwholesome act, as there have been increasing cases of suicide through consumption of sniper, a pesticide.

Another report by the Suicide Research and Prevention Initiative, SUPRIN, conducted at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, showed that out of sixty-six suicide victims in the state last year, over sixty-two percent died by consuming poison like sniper.

The list which is endless include that of a university admission seeker in Edo Sate identified as Loveth who drank sniper because she was displeased with one hundred and sixty three marks she got in UTME.

Similarly, a student of Niger Delta University, Aduba Daniel committed suicide by drinking sniper after he had carry-over in his courses.

This came shortly after Ayomide and Ajani Damilola of University of Lagos were reported to have killed themselves using sniper following the accusations that they stole clothes in their hostel.

Still fresh in the memory was that of Segun, a son of a widow who drank sniper for failing JAMB exam after several attempts.

While some have survived after using this pesticide to end their lives many others did not.

Recently, health experts have raised concern over the indiscriminate use of sniper pesticide in the control of mosquitoes, cockroaches and other household insects.

They warned on its dangerous effect, especially to respiratory organs and carcinogenic risks.

Causes of suicide include failure on the part of friends and associates to notice a friend falling into depression, lack of parental care, failure to attain specified goals, economic hardship and social isolation.

It is however cheering, that the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC has placed a ban on the sale of sniper pesticide in open markets.

Justifying the ban, Director, Veterinary Medicine and Allied Products Directorate, NAFDAC, Dr. Usman Bukar said sniper is an agro-cultural product meant to be used only in the farms and not for household.

Dr. Bukar maintained that the ban was necessary to stop the untimely death of Nigerians mostly youths.

However, it is not enough for NAFDAC to give directive but must ensure strict compliance by the affected stakeholders.

It behoves the National Orientation Agency, NOA, to regularly embark on aggressive campaign on the consequences of suicide.

Parents have to make their homes conducive for their children irrespective of the economic status.

Federal Government should look at short term poverty alleviating programmes to ease economic hardship faced by the citizens.

Religious organizations too should make it a regular activity to talk on the spiritual implications of suicide as this will go a long way at reducing the menace.

Titilayo Kupoliyi

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