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Traditional postdrowning rescue methods applied in Rural Bangladesh using 10 year verbal autopsy data
  1. N N Borse*,
  2. A A Hyder
  1. Correspondence CDC, 4700 Buford Hwy NE MS F-62 Atlanta, GA 30341, USA


Children aged 1 to 4 years in Bangladesh are at the greatest risk of drowning. From the qualitative research, rural communities reported traditional postdrowning rescue methods.

Objective The overall purpose of this study was to assess the postdrowning traditional rescue methods performed on the drowned child in Bangladesh.

Methods In Matlab surveillance, village health workers collected unstructured verbal autopsy death forms for childhood drowning. These forms were translated and data were extracted into Microsoft Access. Data were analyzed using bi- and multi-variate to understand postimmersion rescue attempts performed on the drowned child.

Results There were total 489 children under age 5 years who died due to drowning from 1996 to 2005. Based on pilot analysis, only 4% of the time cardio-pulmonary resuscitation was attempted by the families. Spinning the child, applying pressure and messaging with oil/ash are the most common traditional practices utilised by the community. The odd of drowned boy taken to the medical doctors was significantly more than for the drowned girl. Girl was more likely to be tried with traditional rescue methods and or village health practitioner. Mothers education and household income showed positive effect on medical care seeking.

Discussion Dependency of traditional rescue measures is highly prevalent in rural community. First rescue attempt performed on the drowned child is very decisive as the first few minutes are very critical. The community intervention can be designed to educate communities on the rescue methods and provide CPR training to family members.

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