50 children drown daily in Bangladesh | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 05, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 05, 2010

50 children drown daily in Bangladesh

Says research

Drowning is the leading cause of death among children in Bangladesh with about 50 children dying of it everyday said a recent research finding.
Every year drowning claims the lives of around 18,000 children of which the peak age group is infants and toddlers between 1 to 4 years, added the research.
Most drowning occurs between 9am to 2pm during busy housework period when children are left unsupervised. The research also said more than 80 percent of deaths occurs in natural water bodies less than 20 meters of the residence.
With this in mind the International Drowning Research Centre (IDRC), Bangladesh, the first of its kind in the world was launched yesterday.
Speakers at the launching ceremony at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre termed deaths by drowning as one of the major public health hazards of today.
Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB) with its partners, Royal Life Saving Society, Australia, The Alliance for Safe Children (TASC) and The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) have established the centre.
Sharing the main objective Aminur Rahman, director of IDRC said the centre will be based in Bangladesh but it will work in other Asian countries with similar conditions.
Its main objective is to undertake extensive research and to design safe intervention programmes to reduce the number of deaths by drowning. The centre will also promote the need for people to be taught cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and basic rescue skills, he added.
Awareness among children of all ages and direct community participation is also necessary to prevent deaths by drowning, added Aminur.
Michael Linnan, technical director of TASF, said the most important preventive measure could be increasing adult supervision of infants and lessons on swimming.
Swimming will not only save their own lives but will also empower them to become rescuers as well, he pointed out.
State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury said immunisation comes into mind when we generally think about reducing child mortality. But we do not have proper idea on children's death due to injury, especially drowning, which appeared as the major cause of death among children.
Along with community sensitisation, there should be special programmes for parents. In Bangladesh, parents send their children to learn singing, dancing or painting but it is time for children to learn swimming. It will eventually prove valueable, she added.
AKM Fazlur Rahman, executive director of CIPRB, lawmaker Md Ishaque Hosain Talukder, Justin Lee, Australian high commissioner to Bangladesh, Serguei Diordista, acting representative of WHO, Carel de Rooy, representative of UNICEF, Justin Scarr, chief operating officer of Royal Life Saving Society, Australia and Saidur Rahman Mashreky, epidemiologist of CIPRB also spoke on the occasion.

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