17 November 2014 – The first United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) report on drowning released today reveals that more than 370,000 people drown every year in bathtubs, buckets, ponds, rivers, ditches and pools as people go about their daily lives in a “serious and neglected public health threat.”
“This death toll is almost two thirds that of malnutrition and well over half that of malaria – but unlike these public health challenges, there are no broad prevention efforts that target drowning,” according to the Global Report on drowning: Preventing a leading killer.
More than 90 percent of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam, the report said, and the highest rates for drowning are among children under 5 years of age.
According to WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan: “Efforts to reduce child mortality have brought remarkable gains in recent decades, but they have also revealed otherwise hidden childhood killers. Drowning is one. This is a needless loss of life.”
“Action must be taken by national and local governments to put in place the simple preventive measures articulated by WHO,” Dr. Chan said.
The report recommends strategies for local communities including: “installing barriers to control access to water; providing safe places such as day care centres for children; teaching children basic swimming skills and training bystanders in safe rescue and resuscitation.”
“At national level, interventions include: adoption of improved boating, shipping and ferry regulations; better flood risk management and comprehensive water safety policies,” WHO said.
Thanks for stopping by our BLOG!
This blog is dedicated to providing information on local, national, and international swim events, and all things fitness and fun!