Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury and death around the world. More than 90% of drowning deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and children under the age of five are most at risk. To highlight the impact drowning has on communities - and to draw attention to the need for urgent action - the United Nations General Assembly passed its first-ever Resolution on Global Drowning Prevention, declaring July 25th as World Drowning Prevention Day.
Our founder, Mike Bloomberg, is the World Health Organization’s Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries. Given that drowning claims more than 235,000 lives a year, he’s working to draw more awareness to this cause.
Since 2012, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Initiative to Prevent Drowning supports tailored efforts to tackle the specific causes of drowning on a local level in Bangladesh, Viet Nam, and Uganda.
To tell us more about the Initiative, Kelly Larson, who works on our public health team, sits down with Dr. Aminur Rahman, the Director of the Center for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh. They discuss why drowning is so prevalent for children below the age of 5 in Bangladesh, the importance of community daycares to prevent drowning, and why the government of Bangladesh is taking a lead on drowning prevention.
Then, Becky Bavinger of the Bloomberg Philanthropies public health team sits down with Huyen Doan, the Viet Nam Country Director for the Global Health Advocacy Incubator. They discuss creating a survival swimming program for nearly 15,000 children in provinces with high drowning numbers and how we’re measuring progress in drowning prevention.
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