Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee in Phan Thiet have green lighted a swimming tuition humanitarian program in which Water Safety Vietnam offers free swimming lessons to school children in Phan Thiet city.
For two weeks from June 27th, 2016, Water Safety Vietnam, which is a non-governmental organization founded by a group of experienced swimming and water safety personnel will give a free-of-charge swimming teaching course to 60 students of Phu Tai elementary school (Phan Thiet city) at Quoc Hung sports center (Phong Nam commune). Attending this swimming class students will approach basic skills, and especially the most important steps to prevent drowning in deep water.
Water Safety Vietnam was founded when a group of experienced swimming and water safety personnel became aware of the extremely high death by drowning rate in Asia where ‘An estimated 350,000 children die each year- a rate of some 20 times higher than in developed counties. Of these 350,000 children, almost half are aged between one and four.’ (Ref. AusAID, Feb. 2010).
In Vietnam, the official Ministry of Health statistics on drowning are 10 children per day. However, this is thought to be a very conservative estimate as not all drownings are reported.
Drowning is described as the “silent epidemic” by many international aid agencies, (e.g. UNICEF, TASC) which estimate that the true number of children drowning is actually over 30 per day.
For example the Alliance for Safe Children, estimate 13,000 children drown every year. That is 35 children per day. (Ref. Alliance for Safe Children, 2011)
UNICEF also note that ‘teaching children how to swim’ is a proven intervention for child injury prevention and that this could save many lives.