World Drowning Prevention Day is observing today July 25.
Drowning is a type of suffocation induced by the submersion or immersion of the mouth and nose in a liquid. Most instances of fatal drowning occur alone or in situations where others present are either unaware of the victim’s situation or unable to offer assistance.
Declared through the April 2021 UN General Assembly, this global advocacy event serves as an opportunity to highlight the tragic and profound impact of drowning on families and communities and offer life-saving solutions to prevent it.
As per the UN statistics, an estimated 235,600 people drown every year, and drowning is among the ten leading causes of death for children aged 5-14 years. More than 90% of drowning deaths occur in rivers, lakes, wells, domestic water storage vessels and swimming pools in low- and middle-income countries, with children and adolescents in rural areas disproportionately affected.
Drowning risk could be calculated as Lack of Awareness & Education, Barriers of Protection, Distracted Drowning, Lack of Safe Transportation, Flood Disasters, Drinking & Drowning.
In many parts of Asia, drowning is now a leading killer of children over the age of 1. In Bangladesh, 40 children drown every day. Over 90% of drownings happen in Africa and Asia, the WHO estimates that drowning rates in Sub-Saharan Africa are 10 times higher than in the UK.
To mark World Drowning Prevention Day stakeholders from governments, UN agencies, civil society organizations, the private sector, academia and individuals are highlighting the need for urgent, coordinated and multi-sectoral action on proven measures such as: installing barriers controlling access to water, providing safe places away from water such as crèches for pre-school children with capable childcare, teaching swimming, water safety and safe rescue skills, training bystanders in safe rescue and resuscitation, setting and enforcing safe boating, shipping and ferry regulations, improving flood risk management
The new UN General Assembly resolution invited WHO to coordinate actions on drowning prevention within the UN system.
In this capacity, WHO leads preparations for World Drowning Prevention Day by hosting a global launch event, producing related advocacy materials and supporting national and local activities in countries and communities around the world. Regarding the latter, a special activity that some organizations may wish to undertake is “Going Blue for World Drowning Prevention Day”.
The idea is simple. Local organizations work with relevant authorities to have one or several notable landmarks illuminated in blue light during the evening of 25 July. Local authorities can be given the link to this web page in order to understand the global context around drowning and its prevention and make use of the advocacy resources developed for the occasion to promote what they are doing and encourage others in their networks to do the same.
According the UN, Guyana has the world’s highest drowning rate with 16.54% whereas Singapore is the least with 0.19% rate. Nepal stand at 4.53 %.