Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A propgramme to teach safe swimming for children aiming to prevent drowning will be held in 63 localities nationwide from May to August 2018, the organising board announced at a press conference in Hanoi on May 8.

The programme is a joint effort by the Vietnam Sports Administration under the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, and the Ministry of Education and Training. A launching ceremony will be organised in northern Ninh Binh province on May 20.

Major activities of the programme include communications on mass media on safety in swimming, a national swimming competition in July in the central city of Da Nang, and a drowning rescue contest in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap in August.

At the conference, Vice Director of the Vietnam Sports and Physical Training Administration Pham Van Tuan said that drowning is the leading cause of death in children and adolescents in Vietnam, especially in summer and stormy season.

He noted that an initial report showed that the ratio of children who can swim in Vietnam remains low at under 30 percent. Therefore, the teaching of swimming as well as skills of preventing drowning is vital and urgent among children.

The programme targets a sharp drop in children drowning cases compared to 2017, added Tuan.-VNA