The Global Drowning Epidemic
Every year, hundreds of thousands of children drown in developing countries. The issue is not well-known but the latest research and surveys show that drowning is a leading cause of death for children aged 1–4 in many Asian countries. The likelihood is that drowning creates a similar burden in other developing countries around the world.
Child drowning in Asia is estimated to exceed 200,000 deaths every year. That’s close to 1,000 infants, children and adolescents drowning every day in a region crisscrossed by rivers, canals, deltas, rice paddies, and other water sources.
Unfortunately, accurate figures have been hard to come by and drowning has been grossly under-counted and under-reported by health authorities and, has therefore escaped the attention of governments, aid agencies and donors. It is only now that the horrific toll of child drowning is being noticed.
In the continuing fight to build a better world for children, drowning is largely preventable. Furthermore, prevention is simple, low cost and effective.
It is time to end child drowning throughout the world.