3,500 young drown in Vietnam every year

As many as 3,500 children and teenagers drown in Vietnam every year according to a report from the Ministry of Health.

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Many of the drowning deaths occur in summer when children are off from school and lack of supervision from parents.

Director General of the ministry’s Health Environment Management Agency, Nguyen Thi Lien Huong has just announced a report which said that drowning was currently the top cause of deaths among children and teenagers in Vietnam.

According to the report, of the 6,600 people aged between 0-19 years died from accidents in Vietnam every year, 3,500 died in water-related incidents.

The number of children and teenagers dying from accidents, and drownings, in particular, is increasing, the report said. And fatalities among boys are three times higher than girls.

Drownings are mostly seen in children aged between 0-4 (36 per cent), while 25 per cent seen in those aged from 5-9, and 26 per cent in age group of 10-14.

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs has said the number of children drowning in Vietnam is 10 times higher than in other developing countries. The country experiences an average of 3,500-4,000 drowning deaths annually.

Although Vietnam boasts 3,260km of coastline and many rivers and lakes, swimming is only taught as an extra-curricular activity or at courses outside schools.

A recent survey by the department found only 35% of children in the Mekong Delta and 10% in the Red River Delta can swim. The rate of children who can swim in cities is lower than in rural areas.

Many of the drowning deaths occur in summer when children are off from school and lack of supervision from parents.

On July 2, two secondary pupils in Hanoi drowned while a third survived after treatment in hospital after going swimming in a local pond.

On May 15, four primary students in the southern provinces of Can Tho and Tien Giang drowned while playing around in rivers.

On May 3, three high school students in the northern province of Thai Nguyen also drowned after falling into a stream while taking photos.


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