Experts for awareness on learning swimming to avert drowning

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Dhaka, Sept 25, 2019 (BSS) – Experts have underscored the need for creating mass awareness on learning swimming from the tender age to avert the trend of drowning in the country and thus saving valuable lives every year.

Naisa, 5, and Emon, 7, two kids studying at Araibari Government Primary School under Brahmanbaria, have drowned in a pond near to their homestead recently.

When mother of a half year old Tamim was busy in her household chores, he drowned in a nearby pond while playing adjacent to it.

According to the research findings of Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB), a total of 40 children and youths drown every day across the country on average and around 80 percent of the incidents take place near their houses during the day time.

The research findings which were disseminated through a press conference in the capital recently showed that the incidents of child drowning usually take place in the rural areas than the urban areas.
But, such incidents also take place in the capital and in the surrounding rivers like Buriganga, Turag, Shitalakhhya and Dhaleswari. Besides, the children living in the slum areas nearby the water bodies and Jheels also fall victim of drowning.

According to a research carried out by the World Health Organisation (WHO) across the globe, it was found that around 43 percent of unintentional child deaths in the country occur due to drowning.

The researchers of WHO in that research findings report opined that it would not be possible to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) unless child deaths could not be reduced.

The report showed that child deaths due to drowning mostly occur in the lower and middle income countries even it shoot up to 91 percent in some countries. But, the trend of such unexpected and unintentional death is also high among the west pacific and south-east Asian region. The rate of such death is the highest in the Africa region which is 10 times higher than England and 13 times higher than Germany.

It said most of the children in Bangladesh aged between 1 and 4 die due to drowning which is 43 percent of the overall unintentional child deaths while male kids are usually drowned more than the female kids across the globe.

The researchers said around 3.20 lakh people die every year due to drowning across the globe and about 90 percent of such deaths happen, especially in the lower and middle income countries. The incidents of drowning not happen too much in the higher income countries due to tight security measures, strong policy and principles and also for lack of scope to get access to the open water.

According to a survey carried out in 2016, around 14,500 children and youths aged below 18 die every year in Bangladesh due to drowning.

The WHO data showed that the rate of drowning in the USA is 45 percent which incurs an annual financial loss of $273 million to the USA while drowning also cause direct and indirect loss of $85.5 million to Australia and $173 million to Canada.

The report showed that around 75 percent of the drowning incidents take place due to flood. Besides, traveling in the water callously alongside fishing in the mid water are also some of the reasons for drowning. The report suggests motivating mass people to swimming and how to avert drowning are some of the tools to reduce the rate of drowning across the globe.

CIPRB team leader Mohammad Jahangir Hossain opined that the global warming, heavy rainfall, water-logging, flash flood are the main reasons behind the increasing trend of child drowning.

“There is no alternative to learn swimming to avert child drowning,” he said.

He also suggested undertaking four steps to avert child drowning that include keeping children aged between 10 months to three years on constant monitoring by the guardians and near and dear ones and impart swimming lessons to children from four years.

Secondly, to erect fence along the ponds and small water bodies. Thirdly, to ensure sufficient inhalation of oxygen in case of drowning of children and fourthly to take them to hospitals for ensuring better treatment.

CIPRB is implementing various programmers in some districts to create mass awareness on swimming and avert child drowning as they suggest that it is possible to reduce 95 percent of child deaths due to drowning if they are imparted lesson on swimming.

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