The government is lending its support to the Department of Physical Education's Thai Children Can Swim project after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that drowning is the second highest cause of death among children globally.
Rachada Dhnadirek, deputy spokeswoman for the Prime Minister's Office, also said on Thursday that as a response to United Nations General Assembly resolutions on youth drowning prevention, the National Child and Youth Development Promotion Committee (NCYDP) under Jurin Laksanawisit has approved supporting the Department of Physical Education's drowning reduction plans.
"As the main agency to promote prevention measures, the Department of Physical Education has come up with Thai Children Can Swim project, which aims to teach children basic swimming skills and how to stay safe when in the water," Ms Rachada said.
"The department has signed up 9,311 children under 15 nationwide as part of the project. The department also suggested ideas to prevent child drowning to the Ministry of Digital, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Public Health."
These ideas include basic swimming courses as a compulsory school subject and allocating a budget for swimming pools.
According to the WHO, in 2021 Asean had the second-highest drowning rate. In Thailand, from 2011 to 2020, drowning deaths among children under 15 stood at around one-fifth of the national average of approximately 3,614 deaths per year.
Globally, the highest drowning rates are among children 1–4 years, followed by children 5–9 years, according to the WHO.