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VietNamNews

Shocking child drowning figures shake the nation

Update: June, 17/2014 - 09:08
According to MOLISA, more than 50 per cent of the drowning cases happened in rural areas where children swim in ponds, rivers and seas without supervision. — Photo duongbo

HA NOI (VNS) — A new effort is being made to overcome Viet Nam's record as the country with the highest rate of child deaths from drowning in Southeast Asia.

In fact, the rate is 10 times higher than in other developing countries.

The statistics are reflected in the fact that in 2012, a total of 3,300 children and adolescents drowned throughout the country.

In Ha Noi yesterday, a conference organised by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, World Vision, UNICEF and the HCM Communist Youth Union Central Committee, brought together different agencies and organisations to discuss ways of improving the situation.

"Drowning is the major cause of child fatalities in Viet Nam," said Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), Doan Mau Diep.

On average, nine children and adolescents die from drowning every day.

According to MOLISA, more than 50 per cent of the drowning cases happened in rural areas where children swim in ponds, rivers and seas without supervision.

"Drowning not only causes grief to families, but to the whole of society," said Diep. "Therefore, to overcome the situation, we need the participation of families, sectors and organisations - the whole community."

Diep called for the setting up of warning signs in dangerous places, fencing off ponds and rivers - and covering all wells.

He said swimming lessons and methods of resuscitation and first aid to revive victims should be improved.

He also suggested more swimming clubs be set up and training activities begun during the summer vacation.

"Reducing the rate of child deaths from drowning can be done if we are all determined," said Diep. — VNS

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