On April 8-10, 2019, Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) Director Dr. Abdul Bachani, PhD MHS and Associate Director Dr. Qingfeng Li, PhD participated in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative to Prevent Drowning partner meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Dr. Bachani and Dr. Li joined leadership from Bloomberg Philanthropies and international partners such as the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Global Health Advocacy Incubator, Makerere University, Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB) and International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) to share progress of their work in drowning prevention and strategize on upcoming initiatives across Bangladesh, Vietnam, Uganda, and globally.

“I’m pleased to represent the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit and join together with partners and other passionate researchers from around the world,” said Dr. Bachani. “Through our work in drowning prevention, we’ve already found such encouraging preliminary results. This meeting will serve as a jumping-off point for making continued progress in Bangladesh and beyond.”

Beginning in 2012, JH-IIRU – with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and in partnership with CIPRB and icddr,b – implemented a study to test the large-scale effectiveness of interventions to prevent and reduce childhood drowning in Rural Bangladesh. In total, more than 70,000 children have enrolled in 3,000+ community-run crèches across seven area sub-districts.

Preliminary results show that creches were effective in reducing drowning deaths among children 9-36 months old. Crèches were also found to be highly acceptable in the community, where they provide a safe environment for learning, and to enhance cognitive development.

During the partner meeting, attendees participated in project overviews, strategy breakouts, and field visits to the Ministry of Health and Lions Aggragati Shikkhaniketan School, where they observed a survival swimming class led by CIPRB.

On Wednesday, Dr. Bachani joined Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Kelly Larson and Becky Bavinger – as well as leadership from Vietnam, WHO, CIPRB, and Synergos – for a special media panel, where each representative had the opportunity to highlight the impact of their projects and share key findings and lessons learned. The following day, Dr. Li joined colleagues from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Synergos, CDC, CIPRB, and icddr,b for a field visit to Manohardi, Narshingdi. The group observed crèche activities, Anchal Maa training, and survival swimming teaching; they also met with parents of Anchal children and community leaders.

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Dr. Li and colleagues participated in a field visit to Manohardi, Narshingdi to observe survival swimming instruction, among other activities.