Losses Caused by Suicide Mortality in Ukraine
The purpose of this paper is to make an assessment of the Years of Potential Life Lost due to premature suicide mortality in Ukraine, with the conversion of the lost years into material equivalent. Based on the State Statistics Service of Ukraine data on the distribution of deaths by gender, age and causes of death and using macroeconomic indicators the author employs the method of potential demography to calculate the absolute number of Years of Potential Life Lost due to the premature death of this particular cause. It is demonstrated that prevention of deaths resulting from suicides has been recognized by now as a priority objective in the global agenda of health protection. This problem is of urgent importance for Ukraine, because the death rate from suicides here, being higher than in developed countries, is becoming an essential barrier on the way to sustained development by all its three components: economic, social and ecological.
The absolute number of the Years of Potential Life Lost due to premature suicide mortality is computed by the data from the State Statistics Service of Ukraine on break down of the dead by gender, age and reason of death, using the method of potential demography. It is shown that the number of the Years of Potential Life Lost of the Ukrainian population due to the above reason reached 133 296 thousand man-years in 2015. The essential disproportion of losses by gender is found: the total number of lost years of the expected life for men is more than fivefold higher than for women. The largest difference by gender is observed in the age group of 25-29, when the death rate from a suicide for men is more than nine fold higher than for women. Some of the computed indicators are compared with the respective figures of death rate from transport accidents. The monetary equivalent of GDP not generated due to the premature deaths of the Ukrainian population, resulting from a suicide, is computed for 2015: 6.16 billion UAH or more than 280 million USD.
It is demonstrated that the death rate resulting from a suicide makes a heavy threat for health and welfare in Ukraine and an impediment for the achievement of Sustained Development Goals. Recommendations on minimization of real and potential losses caused by suicides are grounded. Of the measures aiming to reduce such losses, adaptation of the Antiterrorist Operation participants and forced migrants from the warfare zone to peaceful life, and the reaction on the manifestations of “Donbas syndrome” as a whole are emphasized. It is stressed that the state needs to be assigned the central role in the national strategy on prevention of suicides, because the contribution of the state is a determinant for the development and reinforcement of epidemiological surveillance, collection and dissemination of the data required for justifying the program activities, organization of cross-sectoral cooperation and interactions of all whom it concerns, etc.
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