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World Drowning Prevention Day 2023: Raising Awareness to Save Lives


Drowning is a global tragedy that claims the lives of thousands of people each year, making it a major public health issue worldwide. This article sheds light on World Drowning Prevention Day, observed annually on 25th July, aiming to create urgent and coordinated efforts to lower drowning rates globally. By sharing information, advocating for awareness, and implementing effective measures, we can make significant strides in preventing drowning and saving lives.

1. Understanding the Grim Statistics

1.1 Drowning as a Leading Cause of Accidental Death

Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths worldwide.

1.2 Global Impact and Disparities

  • Low- and middle-income countries bear the brunt, accounting for over 90% of unintentional drowning deaths.
  • More than half of the world’s drowning occurs in the WHO Western Pacific Region and WHO South-East Asia Region.
  • Drowning death rates in the WHO Western Pacific Region are 27-32 times higher than those in the United Kingdom or Germany.

2. World Drowning Prevention Day: A Global Advocacy Event

2.1 Declaration and Purpose

World Drowning Prevention Day was declared in April 2021 by General Assembly resolution A/RES/75/273 and is observed annually on 25th July. It aims to highlight the profound impact of drowning on families and communities and offer life-saving solutions.

2.2 Call for Action

On this day, all stakeholders, including governments, UN agencies, civil society organizations, the private sector, academia, and individuals, are invited to join forces and advocate for:

  • Installing barriers to control access to water.
  • Providing safe places away from water, such as crèches with capable childcare.
  • Teaching swimming, water safety, and safe rescue skills.
  • Training bystanders in safe rescue and resuscitation.
  • Setting and enforcing safe boating, shipping, and ferry regulations.
  • Improving flood risk management.
wdpd 2023 interventions1
wdpd 2023 interventions2

3. The WHO Global Report on Drowning

3.1 An Essential Step Forward

The Global report on drowning, the first of its kind by the World Health Organization (WHO), addresses the pressing issue of drowning, aiming to prevent further loss of lives through a strategic prevention effort.

4. Making a Difference

4.1 The Role of World Health Organization

WHO plays a pivotal role in coordinating actions on drowning prevention within the UN system. It leads the preparations for World Drowning Prevention Day, supporting national and local activities worldwide.

4.2 Celebrating Global Achievements

A virtual celebration of World Drowning Prevention Day on 27th July connects global partners to share and celebrate achievements in drowning prevention from the past year. This includes the adoption of the first-ever World Health Assembly Resolution on Drowning Prevention, the establishment of the WHO Global Alliance for Drowning Prevention, and the launch of the first Investment Case for Drowning Prevention.

5. Understanding the Impact of Drowning

5.1 Global Estimates and Risk Factors

  • The WHO estimates that around 236,000 people drown each year.
  • More than 90% of drowning deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Drowning disproportionately affects children aged 1-4 and individuals with increased access to water.
  • Common factors contributing to drowning include the inability to swim, lack of proper supervision, and not wearing life jackets.


World Drowning Prevention Day serves as a powerful reminder that drowning is preventable, and we must act urgently and collaboratively to protect lives. By raising awareness, advocating for safety measures, and supporting drowning prevention initiatives, we can create a world where no life is lost to this preventable tragedy.

FAQs – World Drowning Prevention Day

What is World Drowning Prevention Day?

World Drowning Prevention Day is observed annually on 25th July to highlight the impact of drowning on communities and advocate for life-saving

Why is drowning a global public health issue?

Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death, with over 236,000 people drowning each year worldwide, and it affects low- and middle-income countries disproportionately.

What efforts are made to prevent drowning on this day?

On World Drowning Prevention Day, stakeholders advocate for various measures, including installing barriers, teaching swimming, and improving flood risk management.

How does the WHO contribute to drowning prevention?

The World Health Organization coordinates actions on drowning prevention within the UN system and supports global initiatives to reduce drowning incidents.

How can individuals help prevent drowning?

Individuals can contribute by learning swimming and water safety, ensuring proper supervision near water bodies, and raising awareness about drowning prevention.

Stay Updated | World Drowning Prevention Day 2023

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