Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — A new scheme aimed at preventing children from drowning was launched on Monday in the capital city.
Kelly Henning, director of Bloomberg Philanthropies’s Public Health Programmes, announced a commitment of US$2.4 million for the first two years of the five-year programme.
The programme will focus on proper supervision of children under five years old, and survival swimming lessons for those aged from six to 15 years old.
It will also raise awareness about risk factors and preventive measures, and strengthen co-ordination among relevant agencies in Việt Nam.
Drowning was a ’silent epidemic’ that claimed the lives of more than 2,000 children each year in Việt Nam, making drowning the country’s leading cause of child deaths under 15, according to Nguyễn Thị Hà, vice minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.
The rate of child drowning in Việt Nam is higher than in other Southeast Asian countries, and 10 times higher than in some developed countries.
“Việt Nam has undertaken significant efforts to prevent child drowning, including adopting a strong legal framework,” said Hà.
“Following close co-ordination among relevant ministries and social organizations, and with the support of national and international organizations, we can all contribute to securing a safe environment for our children.”
The programme will begin with targeted support for local governments and communities in the provinces of Lào Cai, Yên Bái, Ninh Bình, Quảng Bình, Thanh Hóa, Đắk Lắk, Đồng Tháp and Sóc Trăng. — VNS