Background The burden of child drowning in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) had become a major new public health issue. Drowning is the leading cause of death in children 1–17 yrs in Bangladesh and other LMICs. Drowning prevention recently emerged as a priority public health intervention focus. The highest drowning mortality rate is less than 5 yrs of age.
The Bangladesh Anchal and SwimSafe (BASS) Child Drowning Prevention Research introduced low cost child interventions that are culturally appropriate, community based, safe and effective, using a life-cycle approach. A capable host nation NGO delivered Anchals (daycare) for ages (9 mo–4 yrs). Anchals create a safe haven and community health clinics for children at greatest drowning risk.
Methods Community-based Participatory Research was undertaken in a rural community under injury surveillance. The partners in the research are UBC, CIPRB, TASC and RLSSA. The interventions included Anchals, SwimSafe, First Responder/CPR and community engagement.
Results 40 Anchals operated 6 days/week, 9am-1pm for 1032 children age 9 mo-4 yrs with 854 siblings and 2640 adult family members. ECD screening, immunisation and breastfeeding review was achieved after support training. 20% of the children had moderate or severe malnutrition. Immunisation rates exceeded 90%. Mothers accepted Anchal Ma’s inquiring about breastfeeding. Children with deficits were connected to resources. There is reduced non-fatal injury rates in Anchal participants. Training and certification of Anchal Ma’s improved their capacity. Parent concerns for child growth and development measures were improved by elders education/reassurance.
Conclusions Anchals provide a safe haven which reduces non-fatal injuries in children attending. Integrated ECD in Anchals increase health connexions for children in need. Additional training, certification and elder support for the employed Anchal Ma’s elevates their status and community capacity.
- Drowning Prevention