“Water is Water,
Soft enough to clean Us
Deep enough to save Us
Powerful enough to drown Us”
Drowning is a leading cause of mortality across the world. An estimated 3, 72,000 drowning deaths occur worldwide annually, although this is very likely to be under-estimated.
CINI and the George Institute for Global Health, Australia collaboratively have initiated Drowning Mortality Survey which is first of its kind in India. The purpose of this study is to examine verbal autopsy data on the circumstances of childhood drowning and measure the rate of drowning amongst children aged between 1 to 9 years.
The survey will focus on the 19 blocks of three health districts called North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas and Diamond Harbour. The total population that will be covered is 809,172 and the sample size is 76,062 for 5-9-year-old and 14,322 for 1-4-year-old. 210 villages have been randomly selected from census data to cover this population. This Survey will calculate the rate and identify common risk factors of drowning. Training of 34 Data collectors and pointing of tools has been completed.
The pilot survey conducted in the Diamond Harbour area of South 24 Paraganas district revealed that in the last three years 67% child deaths were due to drowning. These drowning events occurred during the morning (70%), in ponds (100%), and while mothers were busy doing household chores (80%). The pilot findings suggested that interventions should be designed using locally identified risk factors to reduce childhood drowning incidents.