Tuesday, January 18 2022


Initiative launched to lower number of child drownings in Việt Nam

Update: December, 01/2021 - 07:42

Việt Nam plans to train at least 13,000 children on survival swimming and 20,000 children on water safety education in 2022. — Photo GHAI

HÀ NỘI —  More than 2,000 children lose their lives every year to drowning in Việt Nam. Experts suggest that more training and education on swimming and water safety are needed to turn this grim statistic around. 

As part of an initiative to prevent child injuries, including drowning, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and the World Health Organisation are working together, starting with a conference held in Hà Nội on November 30.  

Drowning has caused 2.5 million deaths around the world in the last decade. An estimated 235,600 people drown every year. Sadly, more than 90 per cent of drowning deaths occur in low and middle-income countries. These serious figures exclude drowning attributable to flood-related disasters and water transport incidents.

MOLISA Vice Minister Nguyễn Thị Hà said that ministries, sectors and organisations from both central and local levels should actively develop plans and appropriate solutions to realise the national programme on child injury prevention and control's goals in the 2021-30 period.

“Based on the actual situation of socio-economic conditions, localities should develop plans and allocate local budgets to mobilise resources for the programme to apply effective intervention models to create a safe environment for children,” said Hà.

In addition, Hà added, ministries, sectors and localities need to strengthen inter-sectorial coordination, inspect and supervise the implementation of the programme, share information and strictly handle violations relating to child injuries.

Dr Kidong Park, World Health Organisation Representative in Việt Nam, highlighted the child injury prevention and control programme as an important foundation for Việt Nam to deploy effective intervention measures to reduce child injuries over the next decade.

Việt Nam Country Director of Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) Đoàn Thu Huyền said that drowning was still one of the leading causes of death among children in Việt Nam, though initial results in children injury protection have reduced deaths by an average of 100 cases per year.

Huyền called for sustainable funding for the survival swim programme and prioritising the safety of children by using the standard guidelines for survival swimming and water safety education in the training curriculum. She also emphasised the need for critical solutions and joint partnerships among government agencies to ensure widespread trust, shared values and collaboration among the public and private sectors, especially at local levels.

Huyền added that over the past three years, the child injury prevention and control programme initially implemented activities in more than 100 communes and 21 districts in the eight provinces with the highest rate of child drowning deaths. More than 16,000 parents and caretakers received education sessions on drowning prevention, water safety and supervision skills. Nearly 14,000 children learned how to swim and 30,200 children learned water safety skills.

In the coming time, the programme will focus activities on training at least 13,000 children on survival swimming and20,000 children on water safety education in 2022. In addition, GHAI will also collaborate with MOLISA to expand the programme in ten more provinces and spread the program nationwide. — VNS

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