Over 370,000 people die from drowning every year

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A boy sits on Lido beach in Mogadishu, Somalia. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

Over 372,000 people die from drowning each year, with those under five years at greatest risk.

These figures were released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday in a new report highlighting the global impact of drowning.

Drowning, which happens when someone inhales water and suffocates, occurs in bathtubs, buckets, ponds, rivers, ditches and pools.

The highest fatality rates are in Africa, South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions.

Meanwhile, the report warns that deaths due to drowning may by considerably under-estimated in high-income countries.

Official data does not list drowning from suicide, homicide, flood disasters or incidents such as ferry capsizes.

Local communities can adopt strategies like installing barriers to control access to water, teaching children how to swim and training bystanders in safe rescue techniques.

Jocelyne Sambira,  United Nations.

Duration: 1’02″

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