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An international conference has been told that despite improvements Thailand’s safety record regarding drowning deaths among children is still the worst in ASEAN.
And the death rate in the kingdom of children up to 15 is TWICE that of the world average.
About 322,000 children have died worldwide from drowning since 2016.
And more needs to be done to bring down the death toll in Thailand, delegates at the SEA Regional Meeting on Drowning Prevention heard.
Dr Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai of the Thai public health ministry said that deaths from drowning among the under 15s had decreased from a peak of 1,500 per year to 681 in 2018.
This is due to education programs and work by agencies at state and local level over the last two decades and the last ten years in particular.
But the figure was still “number one” in ASEAN an unwanted statistic with children in the 5 to 9 age group particularly vulnerable, said Dr Supreda Adulyanon.
More needs to be done to bring the figures down much lower.
Daily News reported on the conference without making any comparisons to the death toll among children on the Thai roads.
Thaivisa notes that while drowning deaths among children may be down fatalities from road accidents – especially young people on motorcycles not wearing helmets – now dwarfs the drowning statistics.