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Initial community response to a childhood drowning prevention programme in a rural setting in Bangladesh


Objectives To describe the development, community acceptability, feasibility, and sustainability of a pilot drowning prevention intervention for rural children, 1–4 years old, in Bangladesh.

Methods A prevention package was formulated and piloted in four rural communities of Bangladesh for 3 months. Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were organised with stakeholders to elicit community acceptability, feasibility, and sustainability of the proposed interventions.

Results Increased supervision of children, raising awareness on water safety, and educating the community on first response skills were the three core aspects identified through workshops to include in the intervention package. During development of interventions emphasis was given to finding low-cost local resources. To increase child supervision, creation of drowning-safe homes and establishment of community crèches were identified. To create heightened water safety, formation of village committees and conduction of courtyard and social autopsy meetings with communities were considered. The community actively participated and considered that these interventions would be useful for prevention of child drowning. There was also an increasing demand for some of these interventions.

Conclusion Use of low-cost local resources, community participation, and increasing demand of the interventions indicated that the package was acceptable, feasible, and sustainable to the community. To determine the effectiveness of the package demands implementation on a larger sample.

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