|Đặng Hoa Nam, director of the Child Affairs Department under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (centre, first row) and representatives from different organisations, shake hands on their commitment to child drowning prevention and control. — VNS Photo Dương Phương|
HÀ NỘI — An inter-sector signing ceremony for a commitment to boost efforts in preventing child drowning in Việt Nam was held on Monday.
The signing ceremony was chaired by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), with the participation of their nine partners including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and Training, the Ministry of Public Security and the Central Youth Union.
In Việt Nam, drowning is one of the top 10 causes of death for children aged five to 14 years.
Data from MoLISA shows that child drowning has decreased by three to five per cent each year, equivalent to an average reduction of 100 children per year.
However, every year, nearly 2,000 children under 16 years old still die from drowning. Child drowning prevention and control is one of the important goals in the Government's national programme on the prevention and control of child accidents and injuries in the 2021-30 period.
At the beginning of summer this year, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính sent letter urging and directing ministries, and provincial and municipal authorities to actively take action and implement specific solutions to reduce child drowning.
Đặng Hoa Nam, director of the Child Affairs Department under the MoLISA, said: “Child drowning prevention and control is one of Việt Nam's top priorities to ensure children's rights for survival and safety.”
“We have been working closely with ministries, organisations and local authorities to implement the PM's direction on child drowning prevention, and implement measures to ensure the safe living environment, teach safety skills for the children to swim and prevent drowning,” he said.
Effective and sustainable intervention models for child drowning prevention will be directed.
The department will also promote communication, guidance and training for parents and caregivers to proactively take measures for children's drowning prevention and control.
Socorro Escalante, Acting Chief Representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Việt Nam, said that WHO highly appreciate the inter-agency cooperation efforts on child drowning prevention in Việt Nam under the coordination of the MoLISA.
People needed to realise that child drowning prevention not only benefits themselves but also brings happiness to their families and society. Moreover, investing in child drowning prevention today is an investment in the future because it is the young generation who will become the leaders of society, future fathers and mothers, and will continue today's efforts to save the lives of children, she said.
In April last year, the United Nations General Assembly for the first time adopted the Resolution on Global Drowning and designated July 25 every year as World Drowning Prevention Day.
According to the WHO, over the past decade, drowning has claimed the lives of more than 2.5 million people globally. It is also one of the leading causes of death among children aged between five and 14 in the world.
More than 90 per cent of drowning cases occur in low-and middle-income countries, particularly in rural areas.
It is a huge loss to each country, every community and family that leaves irreparable pain.
“To make drowning no longer a devastating burden for families, investment by local government and the support of each family and community is extremely important. We call on each community and every family to listen and pay a lot of attention to their children, and to actively let their children learn survival swim and safety skills to reduce the risk of drowning,” said Đoàn Thu Huyền, Country Director of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Children (Global Health Policy Advocacy Unit). — VNS