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Agencies join efforts to prevent child drowning


 On July 25, in Hanoi, An inter-sector signing ceremony for a commitment to boost efforts in preventing child drowning in Việt Nam was held. The signing ceremony was chaired by the Ministry of Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), with the participation of their nine partners including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and Training, the Ministry of Public Security and the Central Youth Union.

Attending and witnessing the Signing Ceremony were Deputy Minister of Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Ha; Mrs. Kelly Larson, representative of Bloomberg Philanthropies, USA; Mrs. Anuradha Khanal, CTFK/GHAI Foundation in the US; Mrs. Doan Thi Thu Huyen, Country Director, CTFK/GHAI Vietnam, Leaders of agencies of the National Assembly and Government. Attending the event were representatives of relating ministries, departments and agencies, and representatives of the leaders of the Department, units of the Ministry of Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs, representatives of ministries, unions, organizations, schools. universities, domestic and foreign experts...

Addressing the event, Mr. Dang Hoa Nam - Director General of the Department of Child Affairs under the Ministry of Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs said that child drowning prevention and control is one of Vietnam's top priorities to ensure children's right for survival and safety. The system of policies and laws on child drowning prevention and control is increasingly completed. The Prime Minister issued Decision No. 1248/QD-TTg dated July 19, 2021 approving the Program on prevention and control of child accidents and injuries in the 2021-2030 period with the goals of reducing the number of child deaths from drowning by 20%, teach safety skills, teach children to swim. On July 25, 2022, the Ministry of Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs coordinated with 9 ministries and organizations to sign the Inter-sectoral Plan on Child Drowning Prevention for the period 2022-2030 between agencies and units to strengthen responsibility and specific coordination to be able to implement solutions and models to prevent child drowning.
“We have been working closely with ministries, organisations and local authorities to implement the PM's direction on child drowning prevention, and implement measures to ensure the safe living environment, teach safety skills for the children to swim and prevent drowning,” he said.
In Vietnam, drowning is one of the top 10 causes of death for children aged five to 14 years.
Data from MOLISA shows that child drowning has decreased by three to five per cent each year, equivalent to an average reduction of 100 children per year.
However, every year, nearly 2,000 children under 16 years old still die from drowning. Child drowning prevention and control is one of the important goals in the Government's national programme on the prevention and control of child accidents and injuries in the 2021-30 period.
At the beginning of summer this year, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính sent letter urging and directing ministries, and provincial and municipal authorities to actively take action and implement specific solutions to reduce child drowning.
Effective and sustainable intervention models for child drowning prevention will be directed.
The department will also promote communication, guidance and training for parents and caregivers to proactively take measures for children's drowning prevention and control.
Socorro Escalante, Acting Chief Representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Việt Nam, said that WHO highly appreciate the inter-agency cooperation efforts on child drowning prevention in Việt Nam under the coordination of the MOLISA.
People needed to realise that child drowning prevention not only benefits themselves but also brings happiness to their families and society. Moreover, investing in child drowning prevention today is an investment in the future because it is the young generation who will become the leaders of society, future fathers and mothers, and will continue today's efforts to save the lives of children, she said.
In April last year, the United Nations General Assembly for the first time adopted the Resolution on Global Drowning and designated July 25 every year as World Drowning Prevention Day.
According to the WHO, over the past decade, drowning has claimed the lives of more than 2.5 million people globally. It is also one of the leading causes of death among children aged between five and 14 in the world.
More than 90 per cent of drowning cases occur in low-and middle-income countries, particularly in rural areas.
It is a huge loss to each country, every community and family that leaves irreparable pain.