Asia-Pacific Drowning Prevention Development Workshop

The goal of this project was to respond to the 2014 World Health Organisation Global report on drowning and using the 2017 WHO Preventing Drowning: an implementation guide to deliver knowledge, skills, programmes and resources to build sustainable lifesaving organisations in LMICs in the Asia-Pacific Region.

This project was also to enable The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) and the International Life Saving Federation (ILS) Asia-Pacific Region through collaboration to build stronger in-country lifesaving organisations by expanding their relevant knowledge, skills, resources and techniques for the development of drowning prevention initiatives in their countries.

Following discussions with the local host, Life Saving Society Malaysia (LSSM), the project was modified to include a one-day event organised by the Water Activity Safety Council (WASC) under the auspices of the Malaysia Ministry of House and Local Government. This event was titled the Malaysia Special National Training Session of Drowning Prevention and Life Saving. While the content of this one-day event had an emphasis on issues for Malaysia and their WASC, the content was also relevant for the other countries and as such they were invited to participate. The purpose of this day was to input international and local Malaysia expertise into the development of priorities for the WASC and the Malaysia Drowning Prevention Plan.

The objectives of the Development Workshop were:

  1. To increase participant’s technical knowledge on the magnitude of drowning and WHO’s recommendations for public health interventions for drowning prevention;
  2. To give participants practical exposure to drowning prevention interventions in practice and how this could apply to the situation in their home countries
  3. To identify national opportunities for scaling up action for drowning prevention; and
  4. To increase knowledge of communications/media relations officers on media strategies to raise the profile of drowning and its prevent-ability in their home countries

The participating Lifesaving Organisations in the Asia-Pacific Region and members of RLSS and the ILS were as follows.

The three-day programme was structured as follows:

Day 1 – enabled the facilitators to lead specific drowning prevention focus groups in the use of research; drowning prevention strategies and programmes; and risk management initiatives by showcasing some relevant cases from lifesaving organisations throughout the region. The respective outcomes were then presented to all participants with opportunity for wider consultation and panel discussions.

Day 2 – began with a review from some of the learning from the first day and all representatives were invited to present to member organisations on their achievements and challenges. The information created significant discussion and was used to provide the foundation for working in three groups to explore the development of a project planning and strategies as a learning process that could be implemented in individual settings.

Day 3 – each project group presented their project work plans and drowning prevention strategies. The seven donated Laerdal Mini-Anne kits were then presented with the CPR learning resource for LMIC environments.

The main outcomes from the Workshop were strong networking opportunities and energy towards drowning prevention was realised through the sharing of activities of each of the delegates and working together in developing a project plan for implementation in each jurisdiction. The distribution and setup of the seven donated Mini-Anne Classroom Kits from Laerdal and the learning resources from RLSS Commonwealth to enable those participants to provide CPR education to their local communities.

The project was made possible through the support of RLSS, Laerdal, the ILS Asia-Pacific Region and LSSM.