PPP says Guyanese are happy; disputes country’s highest global suicide rate


By Fareeza Haniff

PPP General Secretary, Clement Rohee (right) and Executive Secretary Zulfikar Mustapha.

[www.inewsguyana.com] –The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) has taken credit for the “happy mood” which it says the Guyanese people are in.

General Secretary of the Party, Clement Rohee told a news conference on Monday, March 16 that a recent survey conducted by the Latin American Public Opinion Project found that 73% of Guyanese people are happy.

Rohee however could not comment on the nexus between happy Guyanese and the fact that Guyana has the highest suicide rate in the world; he insisted on being provided with documentation to this effect even though the information was released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on September 04, 2014.

“I don’t see any comparison to the suicide rate,” Rohee said when asked. He explained however that the PPP is working with Faith Based Organizations, particularly the Hindu community to discourage young people from taking their own lives as he went on to credit the Party for the happiness of Guyanese.

“The PPP is proud of the role it has played in poverty reduction in Guyana and the strong advocacy it has played in the creation of a better and just society.

“This mood of happiness is as a result of the hard and painstaking work by the PPP/C government to empower our people, in particular our young people through the creation of a knowledge based society where Guyanese from all walks of life are in a better position today to realize their dreams of a good and satisfied life.”

Opposition Leader, David Granger had recently noted that Guyana is an unhappy country since “happy people do not kill themselves”; in response Rohee said that Granger’s statement is “unfounded and in stark contradiction” of the poll.

“Whatever unhappiness exists can only be the figment of Granger’s bias and jaundiced imagination and is completely at odds with reality,” Rohee said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in its first global report on suicide prevention revealed that Guyana is the country with the highest estimated suicide rate for 2012 globally with Suriname ranking as the sixth highest.

According to the report, “Suicide rates in this Region show a first peak among the young, remain at the same level for other age groups and rise again in elderly men. In high-income countries, hanging accounts for 50% of suicides, and firearms are the second most common method, accounting for 18% of suicides.”

The WHO further noted that the relatively high proportion of suicides by firearms in high-income countries is primarily driven by high-income countries in the Americas where firearms account for 46% of all suicides; in other high-income countries firearms account for only 4.5% of all suicides.