Vietnam makes major push for children to learn swimming

By Doan Loan   October 30, 2020 | 11:30 pm PT
Vietnam makes major push for children to learn swimming
Children swim at a Hanoi river in July 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Half of all Vietnamese children should be able to be swim by 2025 under a draft program announced by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.

The proposal is part of a 10-year (2021-2030) draft program prepared by the ministry for submission to the government by the end of this year.

By 2025, 90 percent of Vietnamese children should have the knowledge and skills they need to prevent accidents and be safe amidst traffic, the program targets.

In the same period, 50 percent of all Vietnamese children should learn how to swim and 90 percent of parents should acquire accident prevention skills.

All localities need to have plans and swimming pools designated for children’s lessons, the draft says.

Other goals mentioned include more houses and schools meeting safety standards.

The program’s estimated budget for the 2021-2025 period is VND600 billion ($25.8 million) and VND720 billion ($31.08 million) for the 2026-2030 period.

Child drowning is not uncommon in Vietnam, taking the lives of nearly 3,000 children in Vietnam every year, according to the Health Ministry. It is also the leading cause of death among children under 19 years old, deputy health minister Nguyen Truong Son had noted at a conference last year.

Since 2018, the Global Health Advocacy Incubator has helped over 13,300 children in Vietnam learn how to swim, and it plans to help around 20,000 more in the next two years.

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