Bangladesh had the highest drowning rate among Commonwealth countries in Asia
Over 110,000 people died from drowning in the Commonwealth countries in 2017, accounting for 37 percent of global drowning deaths.
Fifty-one percent of fatal drowning victims in Commonwealth countries were children and adolescents.
Bangladesh had the highest drowning rate among the Commonwealth countries in Asia. India, Bangladesh and Pakistan accounted for 78 percent of estimated drowning fatalities within the Commonwealth.
The Royal Life Saving Society offered the insight in its fact sheet "Fatal Drowning in Commonwealth Countries" launched in July 2020.
"More than 300 people die from drowning each day in the Commonwealth. And low and middle-income countries are the most vulnerable ones," said the Royal Life Saving Society Drowning Prevention Director and also the International Drowning Research Centre-Bangladesh of CIPRB Director Dr Aminur Rahman.
"Drowning is preventable even in these countries. Now is the time for the Commonwealth nations to take actions to prevent these unnecessary deaths."
The Royal Life Saving Society's fact sheet provides a detailed analysis of fatal drowning across the Commonwealth with additional information on both strategic, practical and achievable preventative measures.
It identifies drowning as a serious health issue and highlights proactive prevention measures.
Also, the fact sheet data provides a better understanding of the mortality burden in the Commonwealth countries.
"We call upon government agencies and ministries to provide necessary support in implementing the preventable measures outlined in the fact sheet to reduce the loss of lives to drowning," said Professor AKM Fazlur Rahman, executive director of CIPRB (Centre for Injury Prevention and Research Bangladesh) – a Royal Life Saving Society member.
The Royal Life Saving Society President HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO said, "Over the last year, the Royal Life Saving Society has undertaken a vital piece of work to report the number of deaths by drowning in the Commonwealth.
"There is a real concern that the loss of lives might be much higher in many Commonwealth nations, given that not all deaths by drowning are recorded accurately, or even at all. The figures, we do have, tell us that the number of lives lost is extremely high," he added.
Prince Michael called on all Commonwealth governments and supported agencies to use the data in the Commonwealth Fatal Drowning Fact Sheet, in collaboration with the local Royal Life Saving Society branch and key agencies, to start the process "that could see accidental drowning a thing of the past."