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A World Health Organization Center for Injuries, Violence and Accident Prevention

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Keyword: bangladesh

Last month, Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) team members traveled to Matlab, Bangladesh, for the Saving of Lives from Drowning (SoLiD) project, an implementation study established to test the effectiveness of interventions to prevent and reduce the burden of childhood drowning in Bangladesh.

JH-IIRU is working with two in-country collaborators, the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research (CIPRB) and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), to test two interventions: community daycare centers (sometimes referred to as "crèches" or "Anchals") and playpens. Attendance in Anchals during the period when drowning injury is most likely to occur reduces the risk of drowning by both supervising the child and removing the child from the hazard. Similarly, playpens, which are being locally manufactured, restrict child mobility thus creating a barrier between the child and the hazard. They are also an aid to adult supervision, which in turn minimizes exposure to the risk of drowning. The interventions are being implemented along with family education and community awareness on drowning prevention.

Program manager and JH-IIRU assistant scientist Olakunle Alonge met with CIPRB and icddr,b to discuss progress on the rollout of the two interventions for the project, as well as the status of surveillance and compliance assessment data collection. The group was also there to review any challenges in both the field operation and data collection. JH-IIRU research associate, Siran He, was also on hand to participate in both household visits (for playpen observation and data collection monitoring) and visits to established Anchals. She also observed distribution of playpens and training for the Anchal Mas (on-site caregivers).

playpen
Playpen distribution demonstration.      

Dr. Alonge reports that the Anchal rollout is on track and CIPRB is set to enroll all eligible children and begin distribution of the wooden playpen on schedule; however, there were production delays with the plastic playpens. At icddr,b sites, surveillance data collection is going according to plan with collectors using Samsung tablets with a special SoLiD application that allows for efficient data collection and the instant uploading of information. The team was happy to report that collection is on track for all data streams, this includes surveillance data as well as compliance assessment data collection, which had previously been delayed.

worker with tablet
Surveillance worker with tablet.

creche song
An Anchal Ma leads children in song.

Dr. He reported that approximately 160 playpens were available for pickup at a venue in Matlab during the visit.  While there, mothers and/or caregivers were given a demonstration on how to assemble. In some cases, children were able to be put in playpens to test.  She also observed training for approximately 60 Anchal Mas in Matlab South site during the visit.

 boy in playpen
A young boy testing plastic playpen       

The goal of the project is to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of these interventions for up to 80,000 children, 1-4 years of age over a two-year period. So far, about 40,000 children have been recruited into the study.

For more information on the project, click here.

Every day, more than 32 children between the ages of 1-4 die in Bangladesh due to drowning. That's more than 12,000 children a year. In fact, while the mortality rates of childhood diseases like diarrhea or malaria have decreased, in large part due to disease prevention and nutritional interventions, the rate of child drowning has increased, especially in low-income countries like Bangladesh, because there has not been a similar investment in prevention. It's not surprising, then, that drowning is the leading cause of death for this age group in the country. But drowning, like most unintentional injuries, is a preventable cause of death.

The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) is committed to reducing the burden of child injuries around the world. That's why, on February 27, 2014, JH-IIRU joined Bloomberg Philanthropies in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to launch the Drowning Prevention Project, a $10 million initiative aimed at identifying scalable drowning interventions in this low-lying South Asian country.

As part of this project, JH-IIRU will work in collaboration with the International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) and the Center for Injury Prevention and Research Bangladesh (CIPRB), to initiate the Saving of Lives from Drowning (SoLiD) in Bangladesh. SoLiD is an implementation study that has been established to test the effectiveness of two interventions to prevent and reduce the burden of childhood drowning in Bangladesh. The interventions will be implemented along with family education and community awareness on drowning prevention.

Adnan A. Hyder, MD, MPH, PhD, director of JH-IIRU, will lead a team that will directly address two major factors in preventable child drowning deaths in a country where 7% of its surface is covered in water-lack of supervision and easy access to water. The project will test two interventions: community daycare centers (sometimes referred to as "crèches" or "anchals") playpens. Attendance in crèches during the period when drowning injury is most likely to occur reduces the risk of drowning by both supervising the child and removing the child from the hazard. Similarly, playpens, which will be locally manufactured, restrict child mobility, thus creating a barrier between the child and the hazard. They are also an aid to adult supervision, which, in turn, minimizes exposure to the risk of drowning.

The goal of the project is to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of these interventions for 80,000 children, 1-4 years of age over a two-year period.

"The rate of drowning for young children in Bangladesh is alarming," said Hyder. "It is imperative that we explore the feasibility of appropriate and cost-effective drowning prevention interventions for child survival."

"This project represents a tremendous opportunity for continuing to improve child health care in Bangladesh and is a strong commitment to injury research," said Olakunle Alonge, assistant scientist in JH-IIRU and program manager for SoLiD.

Bloomberg Philanthropies is also supporting the World Health Organization (WHO) to publish an evidence-based global report on drowning prevention later this year and provide expert guidance on effective strategies to combat this burgeoning epidemic and save thousands of lives.

More information here

BBC Reporter Mark Whitaker reports from Bangladesh and Vietnam. Former US Ambassador, Pete Peterson and founder of The Alliance for Safe Children, Aminur Rahman from the Center for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh, Justin Scarr of the Royal Life Saving Society-Australia and David Meddings, of WHO are featured.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0143r60

This winter, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit welcomed a new faculty member. Dr. Olakunle (Kunle) Alonge is an Assistant Scientist in Health Systems and will be managing a large drowning injury study in Bangladesh for JH-IIRU.

Dr. Alonge just completed his PhD in Health Systems and was trained as a physician in Nigeria. He brings great experience working in the developing world on research, in-depth understanding of evaluation methods, and a high energy level that is essential for our work. In addition to his work in Bangladesh, Dr. Alonge will help with the overall growth JH-IIRU and the Health Systems Program.

We are truly excited to have him join our community and look forward to working with him.

Please join us in welcoming Kunle!

 

This winter, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit welcomed a new faculty member. Dr. Olakunle (Kunle) Alonge is an Assistant Scientist in Health Systems and will be managing a large drowning injury study in Bangladesh for JH-IIRU.

 

Dr. Alonge just completed his PhD in Health Systems and was trained as a physician in Nigeria. He brings great experience working in the developing world on research, in-depth understanding of evaluation methods, and a high energy level that is essential for our work. In addition to his work in Bangladesh, Dr. Alonge will help with the overall growth JH-IIRU and the Health Systems Program.

We are truly excited to have him join our community and look forward to working with him.

Please join us in welcoming Kunle!

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