Latest World News: WHO urges countries to invest in drowning prevention to protect

On World Drowning Prevention Day this year, the WHO is releasing a drowning prevention investment case showing how just two actions – investing in childcare for preschoolers and teaching basic swimming skills to school-aged children – could protect millions of lives. Every dollar invested in these stocks can earn up to nine times the original value.

Drowning is an underestimated but deadly public health problem. It has caused more than 2.5 million deaths over the past decade, with an alarming 90% of those deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. Across all age groups, children aged 1-4 and 5-9 experience the highest drowning rates, underscoring the need for immediate action to protect future generations.

However, effective solutions exist. The new investment case shows that by 2050, increased global investment in just two actions could save the lives of more than 774,000 children, prevent nearly one million non-fatal child drownings, and avert serious and fatal injuries to 178,000 drowning victims.

It could also avert potential economic losses of more than US$400 billion in heavily affected low- and middle-income countries, and provide cumulative benefits valued at around US$9 for every US$1 invested. Countries such as Bangladesh, South Africa, Thailand and Viet Nam have already invested in these cost-effective interventions, which benefit children and their families by reducing their risk of drowning, while simultaneously providing new opportunities for improved health, development and well-being.

“By implementing effective preventive measures, increasing investment and promoting awareness, we can save countless lives,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “As we mark World Drowning Prevention Day today, we call on countries and partners to come together to make drowning prevention a global priority.”

In May 2023, the World Health Assembly (WHA) passed its first-ever resolution on drowning prevention. This resolution calls on WHO to lead efforts within the United Nations system to prevent drowning and to facilitate observance of World Drowning Prevention Day on July 25 each year.

As requested in the WHA resolution, WHO is launching the Global Alliance for the Prevention of Drowning. The Alliance is a network of partners who will work together to coordinate, strengthen, improve and expand efforts to prevent drowning deaths, in line with WHO priorities. The Alliance operates on the principles of alignment and coordination, agility and responsiveness, country-level leadership, transparency, evidence-based approaches, and coordination among stakeholders.

“Over the past decade, drowning has killed more than 2.5 million people,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and the World Health Organization’s Global Ambassador for Non-Communicable Diseases and Injuries. “Bloomberg Philanthropies has worked with our partners to implement proven life-saving solutions, such as teaching basic swimming survival skills and childcare. Now, by bringing together governments and partners around the world, we can help spread this work and save many more lives.

WHO is also preparing a global status report on drowning prevention to better understand the impact of drowning and analyze government actions around the world. The Global Status Report will provide critical information for policy makers and program managers to catalyze further action to implement low-cost, scalable and effective WHO-recommended drowning prevention interventions, with all 194 Member States invited to participate.

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An Overview of Global Events in 2023

In 2023, the world witnessed a myriad of events that left a lasting impact on global affairs. From political developments and economic shifts to environmental challenges and breakthroughs in science and technology, the year was marked by significant changes and a sense of urgency for collective action. Here’s an overview of some of the latest world news in 2023.

Political Unrest and Diplomatic Strides:
In the political arena, several regions experienced unrest and geopolitical tensions. The ongoing conflict in the Middle East continued to dominate headlines, with efforts towards peace and stability remaining elusive. However, there were also moments of diplomatic breakthroughs as nations engaged in dialogues to ease tensions and work towards lasting solutions.

Economic Transformations:
The global economy faced both challenges and opportunities. Trade disputes between major powers affected markets, while some countries grappled with debt crises. On the other hand, emerging economies showed resilience and promising growth, fueling optimism for a more balanced global economic landscape.

Technological Advancements:
Innovation surged forward in the tech industry, with breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and space exploration. Quantum computing achieved milestones, promising radical transformations across industries. Renewable energy sources gained traction, with many countries setting ambitious goals to combat climate change.

Climate Crisis and Environmental Resilience:
As the climate crisis intensified, extreme weather events wreaked havoc in various parts of the world. Wildfires, hurricanes, and floods reminded humanity of the urgent need for climate action. In response, governments and communities across the globe doubled down on efforts to reduce carbon emissions, invest in sustainable infrastructure, and protect biodiversity.

Health and Pandemic Management:
Health remained a global priority as countries continued to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. With the emergence of new variants, vaccination efforts and public health measures remained crucial to curbing the spread of the virus. There were also significant advancements in medical research and technology, offering hope for better preparedness in handling future health crises.

Sports and Cultural Milestones:
Amidst the challenges, the world found moments of joy and unity through sports and culture. International sporting events brought together athletes from diverse backgrounds, promoting solidarity and camaraderie. Cultural exchanges and celebrations showcased the richness of human diversity and fostered mutual understanding.

In conclusion, the year 2023 was a dynamic period filled with significant events that shaped the course of history. From political unrest to technological advancements and environmental challenges, the world witnessed the complexities of the global landscape. While obstacles remained, there were also encouraging developments and collaborative efforts towards a more sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous future for all nations. As we move forward, the lessons learned from these events serve as a reminder of the importance of collective action and cooperation to address shared global challenges.