Only for negligence of parents: GEF
Mahfuz Emran: The Global Economist Forum (GEF), a general consultative member organization of the United Nations, disclosed a census report that Bangladesh has been facing at least 10,000 unexpected drowning deaths despite being one of the reverie countries of the world. There are neither health concerns nor any diseases behind the deaths but only the negligence of the parents.
Dr Enayet Karim, President of the GEF told that the parents in Bangladesh are not conscious about the sudden disaster for their beloved kids relating to the water, whether many water bodies are close to their door for learning swimming. In many cases the parents are also don’t know swimming, he added.
He also said that the victims are not only minors, in many cases, the youths even the elderly persons are also killed in drowning.
Two tiny tots of a Chattogram village met the tragic end due to drowning in a pond just prior to the last Eid-ul-Azha, leaving their near and dear ones to cry forever.
Seven-year-old Ratul and four-year-old Mithul were cousins and used to play together at their village home. As part of their daily game plan, the two ill-fated boys went down a pond nearby their homes at Panchariya village in Patiya upazila of Chattogram. With good luck betraying them, the two minor boys drowned while playing, putting their parents in total disarray.
Their distraught families will continue to imagine that the unexpected deaths could have been prevented with increased supervision and more awareness.
There have been hundreds of cases of children drowning documented by the non- government organizations (NGOs). Strangely, drowning, not malnutrition, is the single largest killer of children (aged one to five years) in Bangladesh. It claims the lives of 30 children (aged under five) every day and occurs within 20 meters of the home, especially when children are left unsupervised.
In rural areas, about every household has a pond, some a few feet deep and some deeper than five feet. This puts children at risk because they run around, in and out of the homestead. It is not possible for parents to keep a watchful eye on them round the clock. It is easy for a child to slip out of sight and fall into a ditch or a pond and most children do not know how to swim to safety (because small children can drown even in buckets of water).
The global scenario places drowning as the third leading cause of death. Interestingly, over 90 percent of drowning fatalities take place in low- and middle-income countries.
According to the International Drowning Research Centre (IDRC) there have water all around us, including our homesteads (in rural areas particularly). Age is a major risk factor for drowning. The highest rates of fatal drowning are found in the 1-4 years age group, when children start to walk and venture away from supervision.
Drowning is an under-recognised global public health issue causing an estimated 322,000 deaths each year, with nearly 94 percent of these deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries.
In Bangladesh, drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4, with 10,000 children drowning every year. But there is a solution to prevent these unnecessary deaths. Bloomberg Philanthropies has been supporting anchals (community daycare centres) across the country since 2012, with 50,000 children currently enrolled. The benefits of anchals are numerous, including protection against drowning, but also cognitive and social development. Concerned quarters hope that the government of Bangladesh will support and scale up this programme to other regions of the country.
The drowning that claims thousands of lives annually has necessitated going for a policy intervention of the authorities concerned to map out preventive measures to be taken.