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PA 09-4-1157 A decade of action on child drowning prevention in thailand
  1. Suchada Gerdmongkolgan,
  2. Som Ekchaloermkiat
  1. Bureau of Non-communicable Diseases, Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand


Drowning is the number one cause of death among children under 15 years of age in Thailand. Child drowning death rate (per 1 00 000 child population) ranged from 5.9 to 11.1 between 2006 and 2016.

Objective To formulate a policy on child drowning prevention in Thailand.

The operations of the Child Drowning Prevention Programme in Thailand during the period 2006–2014 were reviewed and then a gap analysis was conducted for use as a guide for developing the standards, or bridging the gap, for the operations of the programme.

It has been found that the Ministry of Public Health is the lead agency in the implementation of the Child Drowning Prevention Programme in Thailand. In such efforts, a programme committee has been established comprising representatives from various public and private agencies; and policies on this matter have been issued for the operations in collaboration with other network members or partners.

After implementing several of such measures, the child drowning death rate declined constantly from 11.5 in 2005 to 6.2 in 2016. But gaps were noted at the local or community level, such as the lack of continuity, encouragement and operations of in all aspects of the programme. Thus, to bridge the gaps, in 2015 the Ministry of Public Health adopts the ‘Merit Maker for Child Drowning Prevention’ measure.

Since the launch of the programme on child drowning prevention, policies and measures have been implemented, resulting in a constant reduction in child drowning fatalities. In such efforts, the Ministry of Public Health has also revised several measures so that they are more effective in the country in achieving the child drowning reduction goal (rate to 3.0 in 2021). Including the reduction of deaths from drowning in the 20 year national strategic plan.

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