76th World Health Assembly adopts first ever resolution on drowning prevention

76th World Health Assembly adopts first ever resolution on drowning prevention

Today the 76th World Health Assembly adopted its first ever resolution on drowning prevention requesting governments and their partners, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), to accelerate action on drowning prevention through 2029. The resolution was sponsored by the Governments of Bangladesh and Ireland and adopted by Member States to address this public health concern.

An estimated 236 000 people die from drowning each year, constituting 7% of all injury-related deaths. Globally, the highest drowning rates occur among children aged 1–4 years, followed by children aged 5–9 years. Both within and between countries, rates for drowning are highest among the most socioeconomically disadvantaged members of society. As such, the resolution highlights the strong relationship between drowning and the social determinants of health.

“Drowning has the greatest impact among the world’s poorest people,” notes Dr Etienne Krug, WHO Director of the Department of Social Determinants of Health. “Following the COVID-19 pandemic, rising poverty is exacerbating inequalities in drowning risk. At WHO, we will continue to work across sectors and with various partners to prevent drowning and save lives.”

Specifically, the World Health Assembly resolution “Accelerating action on global drowning prevention” requests Member States to assess their national drowning situation, develop and implement related programming, and ensure policy planning across a wide range of sectors to reduce drowning risks. Member States are also asked to promote drowning prevention through community engagement, capacity building and international cooperation.

The resolution requests WHO to establish a Global Alliance for Drowning Prevention with organizations of the UN system, international development partners and NGOs. This directly responds to the UN General Assembly Resolution 75/273 (2021) on global drowning prevention, which invited WHO to coordinate action on drowning prevention within the UN system and among relevant UN entities. The nascent Alliance will develop a Global Drowning Prevention Strategy to guide its operation and strengthen coordination and collaboration among partners.

The resolution further requests WHO to prepare a global status report on drowning prevention to better understand the true burden and impact of drowning worldwide. All 194 Member States will be invited to participate in this assessment. The global status report will provide critical information for policy-makers and programme managers to guide implementation of the low-cost, scalable and effective drowning prevention interventions recommended by WHO.  

Based on UN General Assembly resolution 75/273 (2021), WHO continues to lead preparations for World Drowning Prevention Day, held annually on 25 July. This global advocacy event seeks to remember the lives lost to drowning and increase knowledge on safety in and around water.Over the past decade, significant momentum has been generated at the global level on drowning prevention. WHO has played a critical role in this movement, developing a comprehensive suite of technical products, hosting capacity development trainings and workshops, and supporting national drowning prevention activities in countries including Bangladesh, Philippines, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania and Viet Nam. The adoption of this resolution amplifies the growing momentum around global drowning prevention.

Source link:https://www.who.int/news