Attempted suicides using rat poison on the rise

The Health Department says these deaths have increased from 362 last year to over 500.

FILE: The Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital in Soweto attended to 40 cases of attempted suicide this July alone. Picture: sxc.hu.

JOHANNESBURG - Newly released statistics from Gauteng's Government mortuaries have shown an alarming increase in attempted suicides using rat poison, sold on the streets.

The Health Department says these deaths have increased from 362 last year to over 500 this financial year.

The Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital in Soweto attended to 40 cases of attempted suicide this July alone.

The department says the preferred choice by most victims seems to be rat poison.

Spokesperson Steve Mabona, "This is a concern but…. members of the public need to work with us and discourage anyone who wants to commit suicide. Most are using these poisonous stuff."