News

Drowning top cause of young child deaths in many countries: WHO

July 23, 2021 08:56 PM


Drowning is now a leading cause of death for children aged under five in many countries, the World Health Organization said Friday. Around 2.5 million people died by drowning in the decade to 2019, the WHO said, as it set out a series of simple measures to help reduce the "entirely preventable" toll.

Sunday marks the first World Drowning Prevention Day -- a timely reminder in the northern hemisphere, as the summer months correlate with a peak in drowning deaths.

The WHO said that around 60 percent of all drowning deaths were among those under the age of 30, with the highest rates among children aged under five.

"This is an entirely preventable cause of death," Doctor David Meddings, from the WHO's Social Determinants of Health department, told reporters in Geneva.

He said the "shocking numbers" included an estimated 236,000 people in 2019 alone who lost their lives due to drowning.

Flood-related mortality, deaths due to water transport accidents and intentional drownings are not included in the overall statistics.

He said the reduction in the death rates of children aged under five from all causes over the past 40 years had masked the residual problem of deaths due to drowning.

"Drowning is now a leading cause of death for children under the age of five, in many, many countries," Meddings said.

He said drowning was the leading cause of death for under-fives in China and the second-biggest in the United States and France.

Meddings said that in Bangladesh in 2016 alone, an estimated 40 children died from drowning every day.

Prevention methods 

In Asia, drowning deaths predominantly involve young children.

But recent surveys in Tanzania and Uganda found that 80 percent of drowning deaths were among young adult fishermen, the WHO said.

Drowning rates in low- and middle-income countries are more than three times higher than in high-income nations.

The WHO said drowning disproportionately affected poor and marginalised communities which have the fewest resources to adapt to the risks around them.

Meddings said simple steps could prevent many deaths, such as installing barriers around wells, providing safe places for children to play away from water, and teaching youngsters basic swimming and water safety skills. 

Greater training in safe rescue and resuscitation techniques would also help people to assist anyone who is drowning. 

Enforcing safe shipping loading and ferry regulations, and improving flood risk management, are two other interventions recommended by the WHO.

 

 



Most Read

  1. Punjab declares high alert as Nipah Virus threat looms large Punjab declares high alert as Nipah Virus threat looms large
  2. Here's something significant about Mahira Khan’s destination wedding Here's something significant about Mahira Khan’s destination wedding
  3. Former gang leader charged with rapper Tupac Shakur's 1996 murder Former gang leader charged with rapper Tupac Shakur's 1996 murder
  4. Another video of randy biker harassing female student in Karachi surfaces Another video of randy biker harassing female student in Karachi surfaces
  5. Huge blast near Eid Milad procession kills 52, injures over 100 in Mastung Huge blast near Eid Milad procession kills 52, injures over 100 in Mastung
  6. Aagha Ali trip without Hina Altaf sparks separation rumors Aagha Ali trip without Hina Altaf sparks separation rumors

Opinion

  1. India’s invasion of Kashmir is violation of UN Charter
    India’s invasion of Kashmir is violation of UN Charter

    By Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai

  2. World Suicide Prevention Day: Creating Hope Through Action
    World Suicide Prevention Day: Creating Hope Through Action

    By Dr Asif Channer

  3. Gender equality: A pre-requisite for a balanced society
    Gender equality: A pre-requisite for a balanced society

    By Mehak Sabir

  4. Time to move on and build a better Pakistan
    Time to move on and build a better Pakistan

    By Murtaza Rafiq Bhutto

  5. Asif Zardari as next PM could potentially unite political parties for economic stability
    Asif Zardari as next PM could potentially unite political parties for economic stability

    By Rehan Khan Ghauri