The drowning death toll exceeds 10,000 child deaths in Bangladesh per year
Drowning is the leading cause of death for children under five in Bangladesh; it claims the lives of more than 30 children daily, or approximately 10,000 annually.
These findings were disclosed on Wednesday in a report released by Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership with Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research (CIPRB), and the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), organizations that have supported a drowning prevention program in Bangladesh since 2012, and shared in a meeting where international organizations gathered to advance drowning prevention programs at the Intercontinental Hotel, Dhaka.
The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and CIPRB are currently engaging stakeholders across sectors and ministries to inform a thoughtful and effective model for sustainability and national scale up of the program, coordinated by Synergos.
Because of the progress made in establishing these community crèches and monitoring child injury deaths, Bangladesh is a key example in the global fight against drowning of children.
This week, Bloomberg Philanthropies is hosting a drowning prevention meeting in Dhaka, bringing together international organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), researchers from Makerere University in Uganda, and a delegation from Vietnam representing their Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs (Molisa).
Dr Aminur Rahman, director of the International Drowning Research Centre, Bangladesh (ICRC-B) of CIPRB at the event said demand of day care centres are increasing.
In a statement, Kelly Larson, drowning prevention lead at Bloomberg Philanthropies, said: “We are encouraged by the work in Bangladesh to reduce childhood drowning.”
“We are optimistic that the program model can be replicated in other countries and hope the efforts in Bangladesh will be continued with the support of the government for years to come.”
CIPRB with help of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Royal National Lifeboat Institute have opened around 3000 community day care centres in 10 upazilas to prevent drowning.
CIPRB and icddr,b have enrolled 70,000 children in the programs in community creches (day care) which provide supervision to children while parents are out for work or occupied elsewhere.
The report also reveals that globally, drowning claims the lives of at least 3,22,000 people each year, with more than 90% of the deaths occurring in low-and middle-income countries. Nearly 40% of drowning deaths are among those under 15 years old, while children under five years old are at greatest risk.