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2009.11.13

* UNICEF Promoting Safe Swimming To Save Young Lives In Bangladesh
* 시간: 02 min 39 secs
* 촬영도시: Dhaka and Sirajganj District,
* 촬영국가: Bangladesh
* 촬영일자: 01 Aug 2009


Lining up for lifesaving, these Bangladeshi children are about to get an unusual lesson in immunization. But instead of getting jabs and medicine, they're going down to the pond for a swim.


SOUNDBITE (Bangla) Shahinur Alam, Community swimming instructor: "I am teaching them so that they can benefit on the future, I am giving them a vaccine against death so that they do not die because of drowning."


Bangladesh has done so well with treating and vaccinating against other big killers of children like diarrhea, measles and malnutrition, that deaths from drowning were hidden.


Now it's emerged that more children die from drowning in Bangladesh than anywhere else in the world -- 17 000 Bangladeshi children die each year simply because they cannot swim.


Water is everywhere in this country of massive rivers, deltas, rice paddies and ponds.


With climate change, extreme weather patterns, flooding and rising sea-levels, Unicef and partners are in a race against time to teach more Bangladeshi children to save their lives – and others – by swimming.


SOUNDBITE (English) Carel De Rooy, Representative UNICEF, Bangladesh: "We always have to be at the cutting edge. So what we are doing now is that we are pre-empting a situation for five to seven years down the road. This is very relevant for Bangladesh; some estimates are that if the sea levels were to rise over the next century by one meter, a third of Bangladesh could come under water so this is definitely very important."


So far 35, 000 have been taught to swim across the country and countless others taught to save. They're taught not to risk leaping in themselves but rather find a stick, or pole and rescue the drowning child. So they may not turn out to be Olympic swimmers but by they're getting a lesson for life – and saving others lives..


From older literate children who read about preventing death from injury, to community workers who learn songs warn about the dangers of drowning and the little ones who learn through play and song – all building bonds for a safer future.

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