Background Drowning is the leading killer of children globally, especially in developing countries. In Bangladesh, drowning is the cause of death in under five. Bangladesh health and injury survey published in 2004, shown that every year around 18000 children die due to drowning. While estimated magnitude if drowning deaths are still so high from other research findings in Bangladesh. Drowning death in majority cases are under reported, deaths are not properly registering in national Management Informational System (MIS) of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). The study is to explore district government hospital records on drowning deaths and near drowning treated in the facilities. The study also identified why deaths/near deaths due to drowning were low reported.
Methodology We have purposively selected 10 districts, in where 10 district hospitals and 69 Upazila Health complex (Primary health care centres at the sub-district level). Retrospective data was collected from the facilities from January – December 2014 for reported drowning death or come to hospital with near drowning. We also conducted 20 short interviews with the health care providers at the district and upazila health facilities.
Results A total 246 drowning deaths were reported in 9 districts during 2014, one district didn’t recorded any deaths in children. Reported drowning rate was found 3.35/100,000, whereas, another 159 near drowning children come to hospital for treatment and has recorded in hospital register. Near drowning rate was found 2.0/100, 000. Health care providers at districts and upazila facilities mentioned that drowning cases rarely come to hospital and the community didn’t feel it’s necessary to report or bring the drown child to hospital. Like this, they also mentioned, near drowning case were found to be mostly treated locally, they don’t bring their children to the facilities.
Conclusions Present findings from the hospital record shown that there are serious under reporting of drowning and near drowning cases. Bangladesh health and injury survey shown drowning rate 28.6/100,000 in children and near drowning is 118/100,000 which are much higher. To understand the real burden of the injury and survival of the children, it’s extremely essential to have a comprehensive data record on drowning nationally.
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