Updated: July 28, 2021 11:06:27 am
Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in the WHO South-East Asia Region, according to recently released reports by the UN body.
Two WHO reports — Regional Status Report on Drowning in the Western Pacific, and Regional Status Report on Drowning in South East Asia – have warned that climate change, to which the Asia-Pacific region is particularly susceptible, places already vulnerable communities and individuals at increased drowning risk.
More frequent and extreme weather events can lead to more regular and intense floods, increasing the exposure of populations to potentially hazardous interactions with water, according to a statement issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the occasion of World Drowning Prevention Day on July 25.
The Day was observed following a resolution on global drowning prevention that was adopted during a United Nations General Assembly session on April 28.
According to data, in 2019, more than 70,000 deaths were attributed to drowning in the WHO South-east Asia region.
Most drowning deaths among children, men
Of all drowning deaths reported in the WHO South-East Asia Region in 2019, more than 33% were among children under 15 years of age. On average, men were three to four times more likely to drown than women, the report added.
“Despite many lives being lost each year, drowning remains a largely unrecognised threat to health and well being,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO’s Regional Director for South-East Asia. “We need to work across all sectors to develop national water safety plans and policies, and implement tested and low-cost water safety interventions to prevent drowning and save lives. No child or adult should lose their life to drowning,” she added.
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