46 children drown in Bangladesh every day: UN study

March 12th, 2008 - 10:08 pm ICT by admin  

Dhaka, March 12 (Xinhua) About 46 children drown in Bangladesh every day and about 17,000 lose their lives annually as the drowning death toll peaks during the floods, according to a study by the United Nations Children’s Fund. The Unicef study released here Wednesday said drowning was responsible for 87 percent of the total child deaths caused by the floods in 2007.

Given the high prevalence of injury in children, the UN body undertook a pilot initiative to respond to this situation, said Iyorlumun Uhaa, acting country representative of Unicef Bangladesh.

She said after two years of implementation, the project has proved that most deaths could be averted by some simple safety interventions like giving swimming lessons to children, bamboo fencing of ponds, community awareness and day-care centres that provide supervised care of children.

The study says children in Asia are at great risk of dying from injuries such as drowning and road accidents. Surveys from Bangladesh, China, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam reveal that injury is the leading cause of death and disability among children older than one year in these countries, with drowning taking the heaviest toll.

Bangladesh was one of the first countries where such a survey was conducted in 2004, showing that drowning claims one of four lives among children between 1 and 17.

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