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'Drowning major cause of children's death in BD'

By City Desk
18th-Mar-2017       
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According to the survey of UNICEF experts said drowning is one of the leading causes of death of children in Bangladesh.
They termed drowning "a silent killer" of children, aged between one year and 18 years in the country.
They said, in Bangladesh, around 18,000 children die every year from drowning.
Proper steps should be taken to save lives from now on, they said.
A UNICEF study shows that more than 18,000 children, mostly 1-4 years of age, die each year from drowning in Bangladesh. "Children in Bangladesh, who cannot swim, are 4.5 times more vulnerable to drowning than those who can swim in this riverine country," the study revealed.
It said more than 12,500 children die from drowning before they celebrate the fifth birthday, while the rest 5,500 die between the age of 5 and 17 years.
According to an independent survey of the UNICEF, creating social awareness, giving training on how to swim and installing bamboo-made fences around the ponds can significantly reduce deaths in drowning.
A report in the Health Ministry bulletin says that cases of drowning of children aged 0 to 18 top the chart. The number of children drowning is far more than the deaths from measles, bronchitis, diphtheria and tuberculosis.
Child health experts said one of the objectives of the MDGs is reducing infant mortality. But the number of drowning is a huge obstacle to attaining that goal.
People concerned feel that increased parental awareness, capacity building of parents, effective social and family security and lessons in swimming could bring down the mortality rate.
Although these deaths occur throughout the year, their incidence is highest during the monsoon. The chance of such deaths increases with the proximity of water bodies to the household.
Children playing in the inflated rivers, canals, ponds, ditches and other water bodies die frequently.
Apart from this, a lot of children die where settlements are near the river or ocean.
During full and blue moon the waters rise. Many children die then. Besides, children also die during tidal surges, because children are the least capable of coping with those adversities.
In the tidal surge of 1970 of the 1.2 million people died, half were children. In the 1991 tidal surge the proportion was the same.

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