Bringing Down the Global Drowning Rate

By December 23, 2014 Uncategorized No Comments

Image: Sreen Capture. World Health Organization. “Global Report on Drowning.” Infographic. Web. Accessed 28 Nov 2014.

A World Health Organization (“WHO”) report reveals drowning as one of the 10 leading causes of death for children and youth. Over 372,000 lives are lost to drowning in a year, earning it a reputation for being ‘a hidden childhood killer,’ now claiming more lives than tuberculosis and measles in youth under 15 years of age. An investigation by the WHO revealed that over 90% of drowning deaths happen in low and middle-income countries, particularly in the African, Southeast Asian, and Western Pacific regions.

Until the staggering figures were revealed this November, drowning has not exactly been on the international agenda in the fight against childhood mortality. Bloomberg Philanthropies had provided funding for WHO’s report, an effort which NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and founder had said was part of prevention since “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” It is hoped that drowning can now be a larger part of the discourse.

Drowning, according to WHO director general Dr. Margaret Chan, is a “needless loss of life” and demand preventive action from governments. Initiatives suggested by WHO include swimming, water safety and safe rescue training for school-age kids; bystander training in rescue and resuscitation; and creating and enforcing proper regulations in boats, ferries and shipping.

The report, as well as helpful summaries and infographics, are available online at the World Health Organization’s website,

We at Kemplon Engineering, like many of our clients, have a great affinity for the water in all its forms. It is a source of life, nourishment, beauty and adventure. But as in all things, practicing safety should always come first. The global survey conducted by the WHO revealed some devastating statistics for our world’s youth. It is our hope that the information creates more awareness, and that this awareness leads to better safeguards to protect children from this ‘hidden’ killer.

^ Marex. “Action Needed to Curb Global Drowning Rate.” Maritime Executive, 17 Nov 2014. Web. 28 Nov 2014.–2014-11-17
^ Mundasad, Smitha. “Drowning: ‘Hidden childhood killer’.”, 17 Nov 2014. Web. 28 Nov 2014.
^ Wax-Thibodeaux, Emily. “Drowning is one of the 10 leading causes of death for children, WHO says.” The Washington Post, 18 Nov 2014. Web. 28 Nov 2014.