HÀ NỘI — A Memorandum of Understanding and cooperation agreement on drowning prevention for Vietnamese children from 2023 to 2025 has been signed between the Department of Child Affairs (MOLISA), Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids (Global Health Advocacy Incubator).
Accordingly, Bloomberg Philanthropies commits to providing financial (US$2.1 million) and technical support to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to implement the Child Drowning Prevention Programme for the 2023-25 period, which is based on the Child Injury Prevention Programme in the 2021-30 period approved by the Prime Minister.
At the announcement ceremony in Hà Nội on June 1, Vice President of Health Systems Strengthening for the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) Agarwal Vandana Shah shared: “We speak highly of Việt Nam’s achievements in drowning prevention in the past period. We are committed to partnering with the Vietnamese government in the coming time to achieve the set goals of drowning prevention. I hope that Việt Nam will become a successful model in the world in terms of local capacity in implementing child drowning prevention. In particular, Việt Nam will develop more specific national regulations and policies to ensure the programme's sustainability.”
|Việt Nam will make efforts to expand the scale of drowning prevention interventions in provinces across the country. Photo courtesy of MOLISA|
Deputy Director General of the Department of Child Affairs Vũ Thị Kim Hoa expressed her belief that Việt Nam can achieve the goal that 50 per cent of children aged six to 15 can swim, and 60 per cent of children are taught water safety skills with timely support from the Bloomberg Philanthropies and Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids (Global Health Advocacy Incubator).
Hoa also noted that this is a meaningful gift for Vietnamese children on the occasion of International Children's Day and Action Month for Children 2023.
In the next three years, the programme will provide free training for at least 200 supervisors and instructors on safe swimming and water safety skills and teach survival swimming to at least 25,760 children aged six to 15.
At the same time, the programme continues to support inter-sectoral coordination on child drowning prevention, and the capacity of ministries and organisations to apply standardised guidelines on safe swimming and safety skills.
“Drowning is completely preventable if every family and individual proactively pays more attention and ensures the safety of their children. Knowing how to swim is important but not enough, and children need to have water safety skills, and proactively protect themselves in bad situations,” said Country Director of the Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids (Global Health Advocacy Incubator) Đoàn Thu Huyền.
However, drowning is currently one of the top 10 causes of death for children from five to 14 years old in Việt Nam. On average, there are more than 3,500 drowning deaths each year, including nearly 2,000 children. VNS