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Drowning second leading cause of accidental deaths 

2 years ago

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  • 800 meet watery grave per annum 
BY Dinitha Rathnayake Drowning is the second leading cause of death in Sri Lanka in terms of accidental deaths, an official of the Health Ministry revealed yesterday (28). This was confirmed by the Community Medicine Specialist attached to the Health Ministry’s Non Communicable Diseases Unit’s National Accident Prevention and Management Programme Dr. Samitha Siritunga who addressed a press conference on the matter. It is reported that approximately 800 people die of drowning in Sri Lanka each year. Dr. Siritunga said yesterday that in Sri Lanka, the majority of the victims are between the ages of 21 and 60 years. He also noted that people rescued after drowning incidents also suffer from long term injuries. “In Sri Lanka, it is our workforce that is dying as a result of such. This is a very critical situation and we must therefore pay attention and create awareness about this situation as we are losing both money and lives at the same time.” The date of 25 July has been declared as the World Drowning Prevention Day at the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Dr. Siritunga also added that 97% of the cases were due to the lack of awareness about the dangers posed by water bodies and not attempts at suicide. Meanwhile, Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police (SDIG) H.H. Chulasiri who participated in the same press conference said that while Guyana comes first and Singapore comes second in the ratings of drowning cases worldwide, Sri Lanka holds the 23rd position. Most of the drowning deaths are reported from falling into unprotected wells, bathing or swimming while intoxicated, and entering water bodies during pilgrimages and for leisure-related activities.   

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