On June 01st, 2018, in Hanoi, Ministry of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Global Health Policies Advocacy Organization of the USA signed the MOU and Agreement on coopertion of child drowning prevention for Vietnamese Children. Deputy Minister Nguyen Thi Ha attended and chaired the signing ceremony. Attending the event were Leadership representatives from the Department of Child Affairs, Department of International Cooperation, Ministry’s Office, Department of Plan and Finance.
In the speech at the signing ceremony, Deputy Minister Nguyen Thi Ha said that average per year in the period 2010 – 2013 had nearly 2,800 children drowning, however, in the period of 2015 – 2017, the number of the case of drowning and number of children died by drowning have decreased. Annually, it is currently there are 2,000 children died by drowning. “Though the rate of children died by drowning have been decreased, the reduction still slow and the rate of child drowning still at the high level. Drowning is the leading cause of death in child injury. As accounted, child drowning of Vietnamese children is higher than the other countries in ASEAN area and 8 times higher than the countries having high income.” The Deputy Minister said.
The rate of child drowning is still high because the awareness of families, communities about the risk of drowning for children at localities have been limited. The parents’ and caretakers’ supervision especially in rural areas, difficult areas are not interested. In schools or localities lack of swimming instructors, lack of facilities to learn to swim; the lack of children’s skill to prevent, protect themselves from risks, including the risk of drowning. While the living environment contains many risky.
According to Deputy Minister Nguyen Thi Ha, the World Health Organization, the Bloomberg Philanthropy, the Global Health Advocacy Organization, has supported the effective implementation of child drowning prevention, policy advocacy for child drowning prevention in many countries, especially in Asia. The Deputy Minister hoped and trusted that the support of organizations, the implementation of child drowning prevention in Vietnam in the coming time in some provinces and cities would be the basis, good model to expanding on the whole country, aiming to reduce drowning deaths and ensure the survival of children.
Recognizing the efforts of the Government to reduce the incidence of child drowning, Mrs. Kelly Larson, Director of Public Health Programs in the Bloomberg Philanthropy Foundation said: "Since 2012, the Foundation has supported child drowning prevention programs in Bangladesh and Philippines. Over the past five years, the program has been very successful in the two countries through the implementation of specific and appropriate interventions for the community and people in each country.
She said that we have had a long journey and have made great progress in prevention of child drowning. She hoped that through the joint implementation of programs with MOLISA, child drowning prevention will have more positive outcomes.