Background Drowning is among leading causes of unintentional death of children in Vietnam. The Drowning Prevention program aims to reduce the child drowning burden by 20% that started in 8 provinces in 2019, expanded to 22 provinces in 2022, covering 47% of national burden.
Methods We examined the effectiveness of a public education program designed to improve understanding and acceptance of a child drowning prevention program by parents and caretakers. The program was evaluated via pre and post observational study of supervision behavior with children aged 0–15 years. Measures included awareness, knowledge, and participation of parents in drowning prevention activities. The experiences of 1,815 parents/caregivers in eight provinces in Vietnam were recorded, analyzed.
Results Through communal loudspeaker system, direct consultants through household visits, community campaigns at various channels, a significant increase in parents’ level of awareness, knowledge, and participation was observed. Parents with higher awareness are more likely to send their children aged 6 to 15 years old to survival swimming class or increase their supervision of their younger children. In intervention locations, parent knowledge increased from 22.3% to 78.1% (compared to 20.4% to 30.5% in non- intervention locations over same time period).
Conclusions Preliminary results show awareness and behavior of caretakers towards water safety can be modified.
Learning outcomes These results will be used for development of a strategic communication plan, sustainable policy in Vietnam. It serves as a case study for other low- and middle-income countries toward inclusion of drowning prevention as a key element of child rights.
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