A recent UNICEF report, published in this daily, says that more children drown than die of diseases like measles, polio, whooping cough, tetanus, diphtheria and tuberculosis in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand. One of every four children between one and four years dies from drowning in these countries.
However, drowning-related death among children in Bangladesh has also remained undetected as a significant health issue, though this is emerging as a leading cause of death for children. In fact, the actual death toll from drowning is higher in Bangladesh than reported because children dying in this way are not taken to health facilities whereas the figures published in the media rely on reports from hospitals and health facilities.
Anyway, most of such deaths are preventable, as they tend to occur within 20 metres of the home, when unsupervised children stray and fall into local water bodies.
Of course, adequate supervision is the only way to stop child drowning. In addition, a report says that deaths among children aged four years and older could be reduced by 90 percent `just through giving them swimming lesson.
We, therefore, hope that the the local government authorities would take the matter seriously and encourage the local entrepreneurs to establish ample crèches as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the villages for the children of working mothers. We urge the authorities concerned to do the needful for creating public awareness in the villages before the coming rainy season when more children gets drowned than in any other season.