CTFK Announces USD 2.1 Million Investment to Prevent Child Drownings in Vietnam

Doan Thu Huyen, Vietnam Country Director for Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, made the statement at the "Child Downing Prevention" seminar.

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The National Assembly Committee for Culture, Education, Youth, Adolescents and Children and the Ministry of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs held a seminar on “Child Drowning Prevention” in Hanoi on December 7. The seminar aimed to present survey results and propose solutions for effective policy and law implementation in child drowning prevention and control.

Attendees at the seminar included representatives from the National Assembly Committee for Culture, Education, Youth, Adolescents and Children, relevant committees, ministries, departments, localities, the World Health Organization in Vietnam, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK).

CTFK to spend additional USD 2.1 million to prevent child drowning in Vietnam
At the event (Photo: CTFK)

According to Dang Hoa Nam, Head of the Department of Child Affairs at the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, swimming lessons are one of the most effective measures to prevent drowning. Assoc.Prof.Dr. Pham Viet Cuong from the University of Public Health has conducted studies that prove teaching children to swim is an effective way to reduce the risk of drowning, especially in low- and middle-income countries such as rural China, Bangladesh, Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia.

The child drowning prevention program implemented by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and CTFK since 2018 has achieved significant results in recent years. Supported by the Bloomberg Charity Foundation, the program has provided free swimming lessons to over 29,000 children aged 6-15, water safety skills lessons to nearly 50,000 children, raised awareness among parents and carers on safety measures and drowning prevention, and constructed and operated 87 swimming pools at schools.

CTFK to spend additional USD 2.1 million to prevent child drowning in Vietnam
Doan Thu Huyen, CTFK’s Vietnam Country Director (Photo: CTFK)

The program has been implemented in 32 districts of 12 provinces with the highest child drowning rates in Vietnam. According to independent evaluation results, the percentage of children who know how to swim in these areas has doubled from 14.7% in 2018 to 27% in 2020, surpassing the national average.

The program offers a comprehensive approach by not only teaching children to swim but also equipping them with floating skills and safety knowledge, following the guidelines on drowning prevention by the World Health Organization.

Doan Thu Huyen, CTFK’s Vietnam Country Director, announced that from 2023 to 2025, the organization will provide additional support of USD 2.1 million for the child drowning prevention program in Vietnam. This support will be used to expand the intervention area to 16 provinces and cities, teach swimming to more than 25,000 children aged 6 to 15, and provide safety skills lessons to 50,000 children.

Valerie Mai