The World Bank has shown an enormous rise in the suicide rate in Pakistan in its recent report, and quoted a shocking figure of 7,000 cases of suicide in 2008, the first year of the incumbent government.
In its 126-page report "Capitalizing on the Demographic Transition, Tackling Non-communicable Diseases in South Asia", the World Bank revealed that 10-16 per cent of Pakistanis suffer from mild to moderate psychiatric illnesses.
"Suicide rates have surged in recent years from a few hundred pre-1990s to almost 7,000 in 2008," The News quoted the report, as saying.
According to the report during 1990-1994, the prevalence of hypertension was 17.9 per cent among those 15 years or above, while "in 2004, in Karachi, the prevalence of hypertension was 40 percent in those aged 40 years or over."
Regarding respiratory diseases, the report identified smoking as one of the most significant risk factors in Pakistan. A recent survey found physician-diagnosed asthma present in 15.8 per cent of school children.
Although Pakistan enacted the Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-Smokers Health Ordinance in 2002, which included measures to stop smoking in public places and a ban on cigarette advertisements, the implementation has been slow, the report added.
One positive aspect of the report regarding Pakistan is about the improved live expectancy.
"The proportion of the population 65 years and older will move from 3.9 percent in 2000 to 5.4 percent in 2025," it said.