PA 17-6-1939 Safety perceptions and practices for drowning prevention among fishermen in bangladesh

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IntroductionFishermen are an occupational group who are typically highly exposed to water based risk, and face consequences of disaster frequently. A number of fishermen have experienced both fatal and non-fatal drowning, although fishermen are generally not treated as a vulnerable community. There is very limited knowledge on the context of drowning in fishermen and opportunities for prevention in fisherman in Bangladesh.ObjectivesTo explore current safety management perceptions and practices among the fishermen.MethodsAn anthropological study captured data through in-depth interviews (IDIs-16) and focus group (FGD-3) discussion with fishermen, key informant interviews (KI-4) with lenders and boat owners, we also conducted observations (6) of fishing practices. Data were transcribed and coded into NVIVO-11 software. Data were analyzed by content and thematic areas.ResultsMost fishermen perceived drowning as a natural incident or as ‘God’s will’ and therefore it cannot be prevented. Many fishermen did not take any safety equipment, as they believe in the case of bad weather they will able to come to inland and also think as fishermen they are strong enough to rescue themselves. They thought themselves as very good swimmers and perceived they could rescue themselves by floating equipment such as that used to float fishing nets. Majority of fishermen reported not carrying any safety equipment as they thought it is necessary only for fishing in the sea. Furthermore, the fishermen reported that as they need to store fish in their boat and there is no space remain to keep safety equipment.ConclusionMost of the fishermen did not perceive drowning as an occupational hazard, had no training of use of life-saving equipment and rescue and did not have adequate safety equipment. Community awareness along with first aid, safety equipment and training are necessary to reduce drowning risk in marginalized fishermen community in Bangladesh.

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