What you need to know:
- World Health Organisation (WHO), Social Determinants of Health at the Geneva office, Dr David Meddings said drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death globally with over 235,000 estimated annual drowning deaths worldwide.
Dar es Salaam. Tanzania is now working with partners to prepare a roadmap for the creation of a national drowning plan to reduce the number of drownings.
The director of Preventive Services for the ministry of Health, Dr Ntuli Kapologwe, revealed that a recent study carried out in Lake Victoria revealed that 217 out of 100,000 people die while fishing annually, with adults accounting for 87 percent of those fatalities.
According to him, it was high time, the nation came up with a national strategy, which would help tame or reduce the number of drownings.
“I remember in the 1980’s, when the prevalence of HIV/Aid continued to rise, everything shifted to contain HIV/Aid, even government officials forgot about some other conditions that contributed to many death incidents, including drowning,” he said.
Mr Kapologwe stated that with the current development, more people are investing in inland water, oceans, and rivers, and as a result, the number of drowning accidents increases.
He noted that noted that many children have also lost their lives this year due to drowning, something which calls for a strategy to stem the accidents.
“I was very much moved to see that you are gathered here to develop a national strategic plan for drowning, this is an important tool as far as implementation and whatever intervention it will have but, to make it effective stakeholders have to bear the cost.
“Having a strategy is one thing but, financing it and realising it goes with something which all of us need to pay attention to. I am happy and excited to see researchers from various institutions come together to come up with a national drowning strategy, I believe you will come up with a scientific evidence strategy,” he said.
He said that drowning is an under-recognized global health issue adding that 90 percent of drowning occur in low-and middle-income countries, where lives and livelihoods are often reliant on open water.
World Health Organisation (WHO), Social Determinants of Health at the Geneva office, Dr David Meddings said drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death globally with over 235,000 estimated annual drowning deaths worldwide.
“It is often a devastating tragedy, it has become an epidemic around the world claiming lives of over 2.5 million people and most of the deaths occur in developing countries.
Zanzibar Second Vice President Office- Disaster Management Commission, Saleh Abdalah said Zanzibar has several drowning deaths due to water projects such as seaweed, blue economy, tourism and other related issues thus the strategy will help to fight against the problem.