A man in Otwal Sub-county, Oyam District, has committed suicide due to stigma of his chronic illness.
Mr Patrick Odongo, a resident of Acan-ling village in Anyomolyec parish, who had been suffering from epilepsy for several years, hanged self on Monday morning.
The officer in charge (OC) of Otwal Police Station, Mr Robert Okello, said before the incident the deceased reportedly bought a rope from a nearby trading centre and informed his wife, Ms Scovia Odongo, that the rope looked very good for hanging someone.
Mr Odongo, who appeared over excited, then explained to his wife how he had all along been suffering from abusive words hurled at him by his friends at drinking joints.
For instance, he reportedly told his wife how his friends were threatening to beat him up if he ever experienced convulsion again because they claim he was responsible for their misfortune.
Mr Odongo’s wife reportedly pleaded with him not to commit suicide when he threatened to do so, assuring him of his importance to the family and in the end getting temporary success in dissuading Odongo from committing suicide as he put away the rope and headed out later to drink.
“At the drinking joint, he was very happy and seemed to enjoy every moment with colleagues. He returned home at around 10pm,” the LC1 chairman of Acan-ling village, Mr Tom Okello, said.
While at his home, the deceased reportedly reassured his wife that he had abandoned his earlier plan of ending his life because of stigma and was even very “happy” before they retired to sleep.
However, at around midnight, Ms Odongo woke up and found her husband missing, prompting her to make an alarm which drew the attention of the couple’s neighbors, soon a search ensued.
Mr Odongo was later found dangling alive on a tree near his home but died moments later after he was disentangled from the rope.
The deceased left behind one wife and four children.
“I put the blame on the relatives, especially his wife for not alerting the police in time because the deceased had already informed her that he was planning to commit suicide,” Mr Okello said.
Depression and suicide tendencies are common in chronic diseases, especially epilepsy and diabetes, according to US National Library of Medicine. Suicide is one of the most important causes of death, and is usually underestimated.