World drowning prevention day’ has been scheduled for July 25th each year. The United Nations General Assembly calls for solutions to solve global drowning problems, and Thailand, as one of 193 member states, has responded to the 5 resolution agreeing that a consensus on the matter for the first time in history is needed, in Thailand, relevant parties have taken all required measures seriously and continuously for more than 15 years, as a result of which the drowning deaths of Thai children have decreased by 64,6%.
On April 28th 2021, The United Nations General Assembly issued the resolution because drowning is still a major problem around the world, this is the first time the issue has been discussed at the UN General Assembly. Measures to prevent death by drowning are required in all countries because drowning has caused over 2.5 million deaths worldwide over the past decade and more than 90% of all drowning deaths occur in low and middle-income countries. Drowning is a preventable cause of death through low-cost actions and the international community should come together to promote knowledge and training in swimming skills.
Drowning rescue courses teaching the basic skills through core courses should be established and provided in all countries as should swimming lessons. The information of the United Nations found that countries in Africa have the highest ‘per head’ drowning rate in the world, while Asia has the highest total number of drowning deaths. The UN sees drowning as an issue of social inequality shown by the fact that children and youth in rural areas are most affected by this inequality. And in many countries, drowning is the leading cause of death for children and young people, drowning is also among the top 10 causes of death for children aged 5-14 worldwide.
In Thailand the Department of Disease Control Ministry of Health recognised the seriousness of this issue and took action in 2006 when an average of 1,500 children under 15 years of age were drowning every year, drowning was then the No1 mortality cause among Thai children.
By joining forces with relevant network partners to implement various measures, such as education, training, and public health services including a survival swim course, this position has been drastically improved. The first Saturday of March has been designated as a day to prevent children from drowning and to organise campaign activities every year. In addition, a strategy for building a MERIT MAKER team has been formulated using the community as a base with new innovation development to prevent drowning, integration of drowning prevention in the Ministry of Public Health’s 20-year National Strategic Plan as well as supporting international cooperation, etc.
The measures taken in Thailand are in line with the resolutions of the United Nations and from the information of the Strategic and Planning Division Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Health. In 2020 531 Thai children drowned, which was 64.6 percent less than before the operation began. For more information, please contact the Department of Disease Control hotline at 1422.