Conference Themes 2019

The World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2019 themes reflect the challenges of reducing the burden of drowning in all communities, nations and regions of the world. These themes build on the 2014 WHO Global Report on Drowning by aligning with the key action items identified in the WHO implementation guide to preventing drowning. Presentations from each of the themes will be distributed throughout the conference program in crosscutting sessions that address specific issues from many viewpoints. Abstract submissions should reflect current understanding and advances in any of these themes. Submissions that address knowledge gaps in areas of indigenous populations, culturally diverse and vulnerable communities, and low resource settings are encouraged. Specifically, submissions that address drowning prevention across Africa, prepared and delivered by African scholars, NGOs and agencies are strongly encouraged.

THEME 1

Situational assessments for informed prevention

This theme encompasses papers that:

  • Measure the global, national and community burden of fatal and non-fatal drowning
  • Identify barriers to accurate and consistent drowning data collection
  • Analyse contributing factors, exposures and social determinants of drowning risk
  • Explore drowning risks in migrant and refugee populations
  • Address knowledge gaps in drowning epidemiology
  • Describe the socio-economic impact of drowning
  • Assess the human capacity and financial resources required for prevention
  • Explore the impact of disasters and climate change on the drowning burden

THEME 2

Effective interventions

This theme encompasses papers that:

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of drowning prevention interventions that:
    • Establish safe places and effective barriers controlling access to water
    • Build resilience and manage risk in floods and other disasters
    • Enforce safe boating, shipping and ferry regulations
  • Address humanitarian factors contributing to drowning risk in refugees and during migration
  • Define measures of effectiveness in drowning prevention
  • Describe operational challenges and their practical solutions, in drowning prevention interventions and lifesaving programs

This theme also includes a sub-theme that specifically focuses on investigating the effectiveness of teaching swimming and water safety skills as interventions.

THEME 3

Strategies for supporting sustainable prevention efforts

This theme encompasses papers that:

  • Describe measures to improve organisational effectiveness including leadership development and capacity building
  • Evaluate approaches for scaling up effective drowning prevention interventions
  • Evaluate advocacy, public awareness & strategic communication initiatives
  • Review the development and implementation of policy and legislation
  • Evaluate national, sub-national and community water safety plans
  • Evaluate national, sub-national and community partnerships
  • Evaluate multi-sectoral approaches to drowning prevention
  • Aid in prioritising the drowning research agenda

THEME 4

Advancements in rescue and resuscitation

This theme encompasses papers that:

  • Evaluate advancements in lifesaving, lifeguarding and rescue standards, equipment and practice.
  • Evaluate programs that seek to train bystanders in safe rescue and resuscitation
  • Present innovative solutions to challenges experienced by rescuers in low resource settings
  • Analyse factors influencing the outcome of rescue operations
  • Describe operational challenges, and their practical solutions, in rescue organisations

This theme also encompasses evidence-based medical papers that:

  • Advance resuscitation guidelines
  • Advance medical treatment of drowning patients
  • Analyse the impact of neurological and other outcomes following non-fatal drowning

THEME 5

The role of drowning prevention in the development agenda

This theme encompasses papers that explore areas of alignment between drowning prevention and the development agenda, with emphasis on:

  • Access to safe and clean water
  • Health and development
  • Climate change
  • The Sendai Framework and Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Gender and equality

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