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673 Bangladesh anchal and swimsafe (BASS) child drowning prevention research- a grand challenge
  1. Stephen Beerman1,
  2. Mike Linnan2,
  3. Aminur Rahman3,
  4. Fazlur Rahman3,
  5. Justin Scarr4
  1. 1University of British Columbia, Canada
  2. 2The Alliance for Safe Children
  3. 3Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh
  4. 4Royal Life Saving Society Australia


Background Drowning in the leading cause of death among children under 18 after infancy in Bangladesh. The BASS program is a multi-intervention drowning prevention program in rural Bangladesh aimed at demonstrating sustainable, effective drowning interventions that can be scaled up to national scope.

Methods Community-based Participatory Research in a rural community under injury surveillance. The partners in the research were UBC, International Drowning Research Centre-Bangladesh of the CIPRB, TASC and RLSSA. The interventions included Anchals (community crèche), SwimSafe (survival swimming), First Responder/CPR and community engagement.

Results 3,200 primary and 10,000 secondary received targeted interventions.

40 Anchals operated 6 days/week from 9am-1pm for 1032 children age 9 mo-4 yrs with 854 siblings and 2640 adult family members. Growth monitoring and disability screening, review of immunisation and breastfeeding was achieved after support training. Children with deficits were identified and connected to health/social resources. The Anchal was deemed an important program by parents.

SwimSafe was provided for 1393 children 3–9 yrs. 73% met SwimSafe competency. There is lower completion and increased safety risk with children under 6 yrs. CPR was taught to 768 children 7–9 yrs of age by trained instructors. 96% of these children passed competency.

Conclusions Anchals, SwimSafe, CPR and Community Engagement for drowning prevention in rural Bangladesh is culturally acceptable. A lifecycle approach increased the likelihood of sustainability. Integrated growth monitoring and disability screening in Anchals adds value to beneficiaries and community. Swim training for children under the age of 6 yrs in SwimSafe is only recommended as part of a research protocol with risk management. Children 7–9 yrs can learn perform CPR. This program a model for LMIC drowning prevention.

  • Drowning Prevention
  • SwimSafe
  • Anchal
  • CPR

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