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Saving of Children’s Lives from Drowning Project in Bangladesh

Published:September 15, 2014DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2014.07.050
      Although childhood deaths from communicable diseases have declined during the last decade, the proportion of deaths resulting from injuries has increased steadily during the same period across the world.
      • Liu L.
      • Johnson H.L.
      • Cousens S.
      • et al.
      Global, regional and national causes of child mortality: an updated systematic analysis for 2010 with time trends since 2000.
      Drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related deaths among children worldwide. It accounted for approximately 359,000 deaths in 2011, of which 18% occurred in children between the ages of 1 and 4 years.

      WHO. World Health Organization Global Health Estimates (WHO GHE). http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/en/

      Thirty-seven percent of the drowning deaths in this age range occur in South Asia region alone,
      • Alonge O.
      • Hyder A.A.
      Reducing the global burden of childhood unintentional injuries.
      comprising six countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. In Bangladesh, drowning accounts for 42% of all deaths in this age range.

      National Institute of Population Research and Training (NIPORT), Mitra and Associates, and ICF international. Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2011. Dhaka, Bangladesh and Calverton MD: NIPORT, Mitra and Associates, and ICF International, 2013.

      Although Bangladesh has already achieved the Millennium Development Goal of reducing the mortality rate of children <age 5 years by two thirds, largely through efforts to reduce preventable deaths during the infancy period, those children who survived through infancy are now at increased risk of dying from drowning. Such drowning deaths in this age group are particularly prevalent in rural areas—75% occur in natural bodies of water < 20 m from the home, and typically involve male children.
      • Rahman A.
      • Mashreky S.R.
      • Chowdhury S.M.
      • et al.
      Analysis of childhood fatal drowning situation in Bangladesh: exploring prevention measures for low income countries.
      Other risk factors include inadequate supervision and the monsoon/rainy season (April−September).
      • Rahman A.
      • Mashreky S.R.
      • Chowdhury S.M.
      • et al.
      Analysis of childhood fatal drowning situation in Bangladesh: exploring prevention measures for low income countries.
      The lack of direct supervision by a responsible adult often leads to childhood drowning worldwide, and is associated with 70% of drowning deaths among children <5 years old in Bangladesh.
      • Borse N.N.
      • Hyder A.A.
      • Streatfield P.K.
      • Arifeen S.E.
      • Bishai D.
      Childhood drowning and traditional rescue measures: case study from Matlab, Bangladesh.
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