grayscale photo of man walking on road during daytime in Nairobi

​Suicide death estimates in Nairobi, Kenya: A 10-year retrospective study of Postmortem records

Principal Investigator

Linnet Ongeri​


Simon Njuguna, Grace Midigo,  Linda Norah Khakali, Salahudeen Mirza, Jasmit Shah

Project Summary

Suicide is a very serious public health problem in Kenya. The country has recently taken steps to address this issue by implementing a national suicide prevention strategy. However, there is still a lot we don't know about suicide deaths in Kenya, which makes it challenging to identify effective prevention measures.

Previous studies on this topic have not provided a complete picture because they relied on methods that may have underestimated the actual number of suicide deaths. To make progress in preventing suicides, it is essential to understand the basic information about those who have died by suicide, such as their age, gender, and other demographic factors, as well as the methods they used.

To address these gaps, researchers plan to study past ten-year forensic records of suicide deaths in Nairobi,Kenya. These records were confirmed through post-mortem forensic autopsies at a large public mortuary. By analyzing this data, the study aims to estimate the prevalence of suicide deaths in Nairobi over the past decade and gain insights into the demographic characteristics of those who died by suicide and the methods they used.

This study is crucial because it will provide much-needed information to guide public policy and targeted interventions to prevent suicide deaths in Nairobi and potentially in other parts of Kenya. By understanding who is most at risk and how they are choosing to end their lives, policymakers and health professionals can develop more effective strategies to save lives and support those in need.​