A new World Health Organization (WHO) report has included drowning among the ten leading causes of death for children and youths across the world.
The WHO report showed drowning alone claiming the lives of 372,000 people each year globally.
More than half of all drowning death cases occurring globally were found among those people who were under 25 years of age, while the highest drowning rates were among kids under five years. Moreover, the WHO report showed males dying two times more likely due to drowning as compared to the females.
In the report, over 90 percent of drowning was found to be occurring in low and middle-income or poor and developing countries. The highest rates of drowning deaths were found in the South-East Asian, African, and Western Pacific regions.
Calling for substantial scaled-up efforts and resources to prevent such incidences, WHO Director General Margaret Chan said, “Efforts to reduce child mortality have brought remarkable gains in recent decades, but they have also revealed otherwise hidden childhood killers.”
The WHO Director also advocated for substantial strategies framed for local communities to prevent drowning deaths.
Some of these strategies include installation of barriers to control water access, set up of safe places for children like day care centres, basic awareness about swimming skills and rescue and resuscitation during the situation of crisis.
Michael R. Bloomberg, who has held the post of mayor of New York City for three-term, said, “I believe that you can’t manage what you don’t measure – and there’s never been a comprehensive effort to measure drowning around the world until now.”
Bloomberg is also the founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the organization that has funded the WHO report.
The WHO report also mentioned about several drowning prevention projects undergoing in many low and middle-income nations, including those countries where drowning rates are high, like in Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, The Philippines, India, Thailand and Vietnam.
The global health organization strongly recommends proper implementation and monitoring of such efforts in order to identify best practices and their practical execution for best results.