Geneva, 25 July 2022 (TDI): The World Health Organization (WHO) commemorates World Drowning Prevention Day on 25 July every year. The General Assembly resolution declared 25 July as World Drowning Day in April 2021.

This event provides a platform to expose the tragic and profound effects of drowning on families and communities. Approximately 90 percent of drowning deaths happen in low and middle-income countries.

According to the WHO factsheet, Drowning is the third leading cause of death, accounting for 7 percent of all injury-related deaths. Every year, drowning causes about 236000 deaths globally.

The deaths are associated with daily activities such as bathing, collecting water for domestic use, and using water transport like boats and ferries. Other causes of drowning include extreme weather events such as monsoons, tsunamis, floods, and rains, for example in Kwazulu-Natal.

Measures to prevent drowning accidents

Many stakeholders are invited to observe World Drowning Day and to emphasize calls for urgent, coordinated, and multi-sectoral proven measures. These measures include:

Installing barriers controlling access to water and providing safe places away from water such as crèches for pre-graders with proper childcare.

Investing in swimming, water safety, and safe rescue lessons. Training people in safe and rescue resuscitation is another recommendation.

Implementation of safe boating, shipping, and ferry regulations and also enhancing flood risk management.

WHO also recommends the sharing of prevention and water safety advice with friends, families, and also colleagues. It also urges people to host public events, water safety campaigns, and implement new drowning prevention programs. All this with the aim of spreading water safety information.

At World Drowning Prevention 2022, WHO also urges governments to come up with or announce new policies that prevent drowning.

World Drowning Prevention Day aims to implement measures to reduce drowning cases
World Drowning Prevention Day aims to implement measures to reduce drowning deaths