Kisii county has recorded a spike in suicide cases in the last three months, a police report has shown.
According to county police commander Francis Kooli, fourteen people have taken their own lives in the last three months.
Of the said number, 13 were males. 10 cases were recorded in August and three in July. In September, one person has died.
Mr Kooli mentioned that Kisii Central recorded the highest number with nine cases, followed by Gucha South (three), Kisii South (two), Kenyenya and Sameta with one each.
As for the males, Mr Kooli noted that most take their lives due to fear of not meeting their responsibilities and others over marital and land disputes.
“There is a need for people to embrace in case they have differences, instead of taking their lives. People need to understand life is precious and it is god-given,” he said.
So far, inquest files for eight out of the 14 cases have been opened while six are still investigations.
This comes as the Kenya Psychiatric Association seeks to decriminalise suicide by repealing Section 226 of the Penal Code.
Section 226 states that any person who attempts to kill himself/herself is guilty of a misdemeanor with a penalty of two years in prison or a fine or both.
The association wants Parliament to delete the section while noting that suicidal people require compassion not jail time.
“We are calling on Parliament to move with haste and repeal Section 226 that has seen tens of suicidal suspects jailed in the country,” said association’s President Dr Chitayi Murabula.
Prof Lukoye Atwoli, chairman of the board of Mathari Hospital, noted that suicide cases should not be dealt with by the police by health experts.
“We should repeal this law as it condemns some sick people to prison which is very unfair as they require medical attention,” he said.
According to statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 700,000 people commit suicide every year.