In 2014 and 2017 the World Health Organisation developed two reports on drowning that are extremely valuable tools for professionals who work in the field.
The 2017 document – ‘WHO report on Preventing drowning’ is a practical guide on how to meaningfully make an impact on the issue, and the 2014 document ‘WHO Global report on drowning’ outlines the extent of the issue.
The forward for the WHO’s 2017 report on preventing drowning says:
“Far too many people around the world know the pain of losing a loved one to drowning. Each year almost 360 000 people die from drowning – over 90% of them in low- and middle income
countries. More than half of these deaths are among those younger than 25, with children aged under 5 facing the greatest risk. Drowning is the third leading cause of death worldwide for those aged from 5 to 14. Despite these tragic facts, drowning prevention gets relatively little attention and few resources.
There is far more we can do to prevent drowning. Global commitments made as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, for example, cannot be met as long as this preventable
cause of death is left largely unchecked. All of us – policymakers, parents, non-profit organizations, businesses and concerned citizens – can help prevent drowning. Explaining
how is the goal of this guide. Building on the World Health Organization’s 2014 Global report
on drowning, the following pages provide practical, step-by step guidance on how to implement 10 effective measures to prevent drowning. They range from community-based solutions, such as day care for children and barriers controlling access to water, to effective national policies and legislation around water safety, including setting and enforcing boating, shipping and ferry regulations. Data show that all of these solutions can help save lives.”