ILS announces WHO co-sponsorship of World Conference Drowning Prevention 2015

International Life Saving Federation (ILS) President Mr Graham Ford is pleased to announce that the World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2015 is to be co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO).

WCDP2015 is to be held in Penang, Malaysia from 4-6 November 2015. This will be the first time that the global drowning prevention community will meet since the publication by WHO of the Global report on drowning: preventing a leading killer in November 2014.

The Global report on drowning, which was the first report by WHO dedicated exclusively to drowning, revealed that drowning claims the lives of 372,000 people each year and is among the ten leading causes of death for children and young people in every region. Globally, over half of all drowning deaths are among those aged under 25 years.

“More than 90% of drowning occurs in low- and middle-income countries, with nations in the African, South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions having the highest rates. Children 1-4 years of age are particularly vulnerable to drowning,” said Dr David Meddings of the WHO Department for Management of NCDs, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention. “This loss of life is largely preventable through actions described in the Global report on drowning.”

WCDP2015 will bring together the world’s foremost experts, researchers and policy-makers in drowning prevention, rescue, lifesaving and water safety for exchange, debate and review of the latest progress on preventing drowning. The conference will energize the field, and contribute to further development and advancements to reduce death and injury in all aquatic environments worldwide.

“The co-sponsorship of this conference by WHO marks a significant step in the joint efforts by ILS and WHO to raise global, regional and national awareness of drowning and its prevention,” said Justin Scarr, ILS Drowning Prevention Commission Chair.

It is expected that key themes arising from the Global report on drowning will be explored during plenary sessions, symposia and parallel session papers delivered by over 200 presenters from 50 nations. Symposia investigating the use of lifejackets, child drowning prevention measures, identifying and responding to drowning data gaps, and CPR protocols will all feature at the event.

Inspired by the key recommendations of the Global report on drowning, the Life Saving Society Malaysia is using the event to reinforce their call for establishment of a Malaysian Water Safety Council in response to growing national recognition of drowning and how it impacts upon Malaysian communities.

“It is a great honour to welcome the international drowning prevention community to Malaysia, and it is vitally important that we capture the energy of the event to increase drowning prevention actions across the nation,” noted Mr Lim Chien Cheng, President Life Saving Society Malaysia.

The call for papers has now closed, but can be opened under exceptional circumstances for high priority drowning prevention research and policy. Early Bird registration closes on 31 July 2015 for those wishing to present and attend. Registrations will be accepted until 30 September 2015.


Global report on drowning: preventing a leading killer

World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2015