Free courses to train swimming skills are to be offered to children in Hanoi. The programme is being organised by the Hanoi section of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union and the Ho Chi Minh Young Pioneer Organisation. It aims at reducing the number of deaths caused by drowning.

The free swimming programme is to be held at the Hanoi Youth Culture and Sports Centre and will last for 15 days. Children will be taught basic swimming skills and instructed in first aid.

Chairman of the Hanoi Chapter of the Ho Chi Minh Young Pioneer Organisation Tran Anh Tuan said teaching children to swim will be all year round, not just in summer. Through this programme, more and more children will hopefully attain these essential skills, strongly reducing the risk of drowning.

Earlier in the year, 12 districts in Hanoi organised free swimming classes for 2,300 disabled and disadvantaged children.

Since April this year, 20 children aged from 3 to 14 have drowned, mostly in the capital’s suburbs.

The issue remains an enormous problem in Vietnam, with as many under-5-year-olds dying from drowning as all other causes of death combined.-VNA