Prevalence of suicide attempts across the African continent: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Fateme Babajani, Nader Salari, Amin Hosseinian Far, Nasrin Abdoli, Hadis Mosafer, Pegah Heidarian, Masoud Mohammadi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


Over 700,000 people worldwide lose their lives through suicide every year. The prevalence of suicide has increased, especially in low- and middle-income countries such as many African countries. For every fatal suicidal attempt, there are approximately 20 other non-fatal suicide attempts within the population. The purpose of this study is to investigate the prevalence of attempts of suicides in the African continent through a systematic review and meta-analysis.

To identify relevant sources, the PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Embase, ScienceDirect and Google Scholar repositories and databases were systematically searched without a lower time limit and until July 2023. The heterogeneity of the studies was checked with the I2 index, and accordingly random effects model was adopted to perform the analysis. Data analysis was conducted within the Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software (v.2).

In the review of 48 studies with a sample size of 244,701 people, the prevalence of suicide attempts in Africa was found to be 9.9% (95%CI: 8.5%-11.6%). With the increase in the year of study, the prevalence of suicide attempt in the African continent increases. Also, with the increase in the sample size, the prevalence of suicide attempts in Africa decreases. The suicide attempt prevalence among African men and woman slightly differed with 7.6% and 8.2%, respectively.

Suicide attempt is an important public health concern in Africa. The findings of this study are important not only for African health policy making, but also to contribute to the accuracy of global estimates with respect to suicide attempts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAsian Journal of Psychiatry
Early online date19 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2023


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