WHO awards ILS “Official Relations” Status

The International Life Saving Federation (ILS) has been awarded World Health Organisation (WHO) “Official Relations” status.

With this official relationship, WHO acknowledges ILS as the world authority on the global effort to prevent drowning. ILS has enjoyed many years of productive “unofficial relations” with WHO and looks forward to expanded collaboration to improve the global effort on drowning prevention.

ILS and WHO will continue consultations with governments and other NGOs to research, educate and implement drowning prevention strategies that build capacity in communities throughout the world.

While ILS Member Federations work diligently to prevent drowning in risk populations in their nations, the highest drowning rates occur in nations without national lifesaving federations. ILS will offer assistance to governments, NGOs, communities and others in high risk populations where a national lead organization in drowning prevention is not in place or in early growth. ILS will continue to:

  • expand collaborative opportunities to achieve the ILS Vision and the WHO Agenda to improve population health.
  • focus on child and aquatic disaster drowning prevention and aquatic injury reduction.
  • pursue projects in high drowning rate populations and support ILS Member Federations who work to reduce the burden of drowning in lower resource nations.

ILS thanks the WHO Executive Board for their support and welcome of ILS to the WHO Civil Society Initiative. We acknowledge Dr. Etienne Krug, WHO Director, Injuries and Violence Prevention and Disability and Dr. Margie Peden, WHO Coordinator of Unintentional Injury Prevention for their support of ILS inclusion in the WHO family.

Our thanks to ILS volunteers Dr. Klaus Wilkens, Chris Brewster and John Long who started the ILS process to achieve WHO “Official Relations” status.

Dr. Steve Beerman BSc, MD, CCFP, FCFP
President, International Life Saving Federation