Asia Pacific accounts for nearly two-thirds of drowning deaths globally: WHO report

Asia Pacific accounts for nearly two-thirds of drowning deaths globally: WHO report

New Delhi: Nearly two-thirds of global drowning deaths occur in Asia Pacific, a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
The WHO on Friday launched its first regional status report on the prevention of drowning in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific.
During the launch of the report, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, South-East Asia, WHO said, “Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury deaths worldwide, accounting for 7 per cent of all injury-related deaths ”
According to the WHO, more than 90 percent of unintentional drowning deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and more than half of the world’s drownings occur in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific.
In 48 of the 85 countries with serviceable data on drowning, drowning is one of the top five causes of death for children under the age of 15. Drowning accounts for 75 percent of all deaths in flood disasters, the report said, adding that many countries in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific are particularly vulnerable.
For the first time, these reports provide knowledge on the state of drowning prevention and water security in each region, giving a snapshot of the scale of the problem, the actions that are underway, and the ways in which to address a problem. provide opportunities. A completely preventable cause of mortality and morbidity.
“In both regions, communities and individuals interact with water on a daily basis: while swimming on beaches or in pools; while traveling long distances on water in boats; rivers and ponds to collect water and sustain livelihoods.” and when exposed to risk of flood waters caused by seasonal weather events such as monsoons, or extreme weather events such as cyclones and typhoons,” the report specifies.
“To further reduce the risk of each of these threats, policymakers can leverage a range of evidence-based and low-cost interventions that should be integrated into regional and national agendas, including including minimizing health impacts,” he said. Dr Khetrapal.
Through multi-sectoral coordination, strong leadership, and ongoing planning, monitoring and evaluation, we can reduce the sinking burden in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific for a safe, fair and healthy future for all.
In 2019, more than 1,44,000 people drowned in the Asia Pacific region, accounting for the global drowning deaths, according to the first World Health Organization (WHO) regional assessment on the prevention of drowning, released Friday before World Drowning Prevention Day. of 61 percent. The drowning claimed the lives of 70,000 and 74,000 people in the WHO South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions respectively.
Two WHO reports, the Regional Status Report on Sinking in the Western Pacific and the Regional Status Report on Sinking in Southeast Asia, also warn that climate change, to which the Asia Pacific region is particularly vulnerable, is already vulnerable. Promotes communities and individuals. risk of drowning.
More frequent and extreme weather events can lead to more regular and intense flooding, increasing population exposure to potentially dangerous interactions with water.
Of the 70,000 drowning deaths in the WHO South-East Asia region in 2019, more than 33 percent were among children under the age of 15. On average, men were three to four times more likely to drown than women.
Twenty of the 37 countries and territories in the region participated in the report, of which eight reported national or subnational strategies, policies or plans to reduce sinking. Additionally, 15 countries reported having systems for capturing national data on drowning and implementing mass media campaigns on drowning prevention.

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