National Assembly of Vietnam Evaluates Child Drowning Prevention Program and Offers Comprehensive Solutions
In 2017, the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) began partnering with the government of Vietnam, the World Health Organization and local experts to design, test, scale and sustain national evidence-based child drowning prevention programs to save the lives of children 6-15 in Vietnam. Since then, the Vietnamese government has prioritized the development and safety of children. In July 2022 the National Assembly's Committee for Culture and Education (NACCE) partnered with the Ministry of Labour – Invalid and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and GHAI to conduct field missions to monitor and evaluate the performance of child drowning prevention programs in six provinces. After the field missions, NACCE released their report on the current implementation of child drowning prevention policies, challenges and recommendations to the National Assembly to monitor future provincial activities to reduce child drowning deaths nationwide.
On December 2022, NACCE held its first-ever monitoring and evaluation dissemination workshop. Madame Hoa, Vice President of the National Assembly Committee and Madama Ha, Vice Minister of MOLISA chaired the workshop, which included 60 ministerial leaders, province representatives, Hanoi University of Public Health representatives, international organizations including GHAI, Save the Children, the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Vision. The workshop provided an opportunity to discuss this first-ever evaluation and propose comprehensive drowning prevention solutions to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of relevant policies which will save the lives of Vietnam’s children.
Additionally, this event created an important platform to assess the problem of child drowning, which has been the leading cause of all deaths among children under 15 in Vietnam. Participants discussed legal gaps, important roles of communication campaigns, promoting survival swimming and water safety education, creating a favorable mechanism for more effective use and maintenance of school-based swimming pools and mobilizing resources from private sectors, parents and the community.
Mr. Dang Hoa Nam, Director of the Department of Children's Affairs, MOLISA, emphasized that survival swimming is one of the most effective solutions to reduce child drowning. Professor Pham Viet Cuong from Hanoi University of Public Health also noted that teaching survival swimming is a proven intervention in other countries, including China, Bangladesh, Thailand and Australia. Huyen Doan, GHAI Vietnam Country Director, shared key outcomes from the current child drowning program funded by the Bloomberg Philanthropies. Over the past four years, the program has provided free swim training to more than 29,000 children aged 6-15 and water safety education for more than 50,000 children in schools and mobilized 73 local swimming pools for the program. She called for a stronger commitment and investment in this program from both the national and local levels to ensure the safety of children. She also acknowledged that the Bloomberg Philanthropies is helping the government reach their long-term target of reducing child drowning by 20% by 2030.
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