Violence and Injury Prevention


Drowning is the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion/immersion in liquid. Drowning outcomes are classified as death, morbidity and no morbidity. Agreed terminology is essential to describe the problem and to allow effective comparisons of drowning trends. Thus, this definition of drowning adopted by the 2002 World Congress on Drowning should be widely used.

The WHO Global report on drowning: preventing a leading killer, published in 2014, highlights that 372,000 people drown worldwide each year. Drowning is among the ten leading causes of death for children and young people in every region of the world. The report sets out the evidence showing a range of effective drowning prevention strategies, and makes a number of recommendations for concrete measures to be taken by national and local governments. With the release of this report, WHO aims to galvanize attention and action to this issue by highlighting how collaboration across sectors can save lives.

More information

Contact us

Ms. Laura Sminkey
Communications Officer
Tel.: +41 22 791 45 47