PW 0134 Aquatic survival program – ghana

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Abstract

Injury related deaths are gradually becoming a matter of concern for governments and other stakeholders throughout the world. In Ghana, data from the country’s leading health care provider (Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital) indicates that drowning is the 1 st leading cause of injury-related deaths among adolescents between the ages of 10–19.

Despite the effects of drowning on Ghanaian children, no clear interventions have been put in place to mitigate the occurrence of such deaths in the country.

In the developed world, several approaches have been adopted to reduce drowning among young children. Among such approaches is the inclusion of swimming lessons in the educational curriculum.

In an attempt to reduce drowning in Ghana, Felix Foundation in collaboration with nation and other stakeholders adopted a simple educational program called the Aquatic Survival Program (A.S.P). The primary aim of the A.S.P is to save lives by training children on locally designed water safety messages and where feasible, basic self-survival and rescue skills. Since the inception of the program in 2014, more than 85, 000 people have been trained in more than 500 schools.

The A.S.P. presents ten (10) water safety messages printed on 10 different flashcards, split into three thematic areas namely: SPOT THE DANGERS, KEEP YOURSELF SAFE, and KEEP OTHERS SAFE. These three thematic areas contain different messages that teach people how to prevent themselves and others from drowning. The drowning prevention lessons may be taught using any method appropriate for the students and the environment.

The long term goal of the A.S.P is to recommend to the Ghana Education Service (GES) to incorporate drowning prevention lessons in the educational curriculum. With the support of our partners, the Aquatic Survival Program hopes to continue making impacts in the lives of children and all those at risk of drowning.

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