The Thai Children Can Swim project, which is being run by the Department of Physical Education and aims to teach children basic swimming skills and water safety, has received support from the government.
This follows the announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) that drowning is the second leading cause of death among children worldwide.
In response to United Nations General Assembly resolutions on youth drowning prevention, Rachada Dhnadirek, the Deputy Spokeswoman for the Prime Minister’s Office said the National Child and Youth Development Promotion Committee (NCYDP) has approved the project and its efforts to reduce drowning incidents.
The Department of Physical Education has so far signed up 9,311 children under 15 for the project and has also proposed ideas for preventing child drownings, such as making introductory swimming courses a compulsory school subject and allocating funds for swimming pools, to the Ministry of Digital, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Public Health.
According to the WHO, the ASEAN region had the second-highest drowning rate in 2021, and in Thailand, drowning deaths among children under 15 made up approximately one-fifth of the national average of roughly 3,600 deaths per year between 2011 and 2020.
The highest drowning rates, according to the WHO, occur among children aged 1-4 and 5-9 years old. (NNT)