Drowning research centre to help reduce child mortality
Australians are renowned for our passion for the water and have a range of effective programs to reduce the loss of life from drowning. And sharing our experience can help prevent a tragically common cause of death in countries less fortunate than Australia.
So the Australian Government and the Royal Life Saving Association of Australia are working together to establish the world's first International Drowning Research Centre in Bangladesh.
AusAID is providing up to $600,000 over three years to the Centre, whose work will not only focus on Bangladesh, but also the wider South and South East Asian regions.
Drowning is a significant obstacle for most Asia-Pacific countries in reducing child mortality, a key United Nations Millennium Development Goal.
In Asia alone an estimated 350,000 children die each year–a rate some 20 times higher than in developed countries. Of these 350,000 children, almost half are aged between one and four.
AusAID will also provide $250,000 to Royal Life Saving Association Australia to support the World Conference on Drowning 2011 to be held in Da Nang, Vietnam.
The conference will bring together the world's leading experts in the effort to reduce the incidence of drowning, with the focus being on the latest drowning research, prevention, aquatic disaster reduction strategies and medical advances in resuscitation and rescue systems.
Mr Bob McMullan, Parliamentary Secretary for International Development, has agreed to be an ambassador for the conference.
More information on the International Drowning Research Centre [external website]