Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Quang Tri (VNA) – Authorities in the central province of Quang Tri have coordinated with local organisations to open free swimming courses for local children in the hope of minimizing child drowning, especially in rural and remote areas.

The courses are designed to equip children with necessary skills to avoid drowning and accidents, while raising children and parents’ awareness of protecting their health and life.

As part of activities to prevent child drowning in 2018 launched by the provincial Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, the union’s chapters in Hai Lang, Trieu Phong, Vinh Linh, Cam Lo districts and Quang Tri and Gio Linh towns as well as the provincial Children’s Cultural House have organized 45 swimming courses for nearly 1,200 children.

The courses, held from June 30 to August 30, also provide life skills to the children.

Nguyen Thi Phuong Lieu, Vice Secretary of Hai Lang district’s Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union said that Hai Lang is a low area with high number of drowning cases.

The district’s youth union first launched swimming courses for children in 2015, which have become an annual activity of the district in summer, she said, adding that 106 courses have been opened so far, drawing 2,650 local children.

In 2018 alone, the union has offered 34 free courses to 850 children in the locality.

Since early June 2018, the World Vision International in Vietnam have coordinated with seven communes in Hai Lang – Hai Duong, Hai Xuan, Hai Truong, Hai Thanh, Hai Thien, Hai Hoa and and Hai Quy – to organise 14 courses for 420 children aging from 12-18, during which the children are taught swimming skills and the process of giving first aids to victims of accidents.

According to Vice Director of the Vietnam Sports and Physical Training Administration Pham Van Tuan, drowning is the leading cause of death in children and adolescents in Vietnam, especially in the summer and storm season.

He noted that an initial report showed that the ratio of children who can swim in Vietnam remains under 30 percent.

A report by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs showed that about 2,000 children lost their lives to water in Vietnam each year between 2015 and 2017.-VNA