Epidemiology of drowning in Bangladesh: An update

Aminur Rahman, Olakunle Alonge, Al Amin Bhuiyan, Priyanka Agrawal, Shumona Sharmin Salam, Abu Talab, Qazi Sadeq Ur Rahman, Adnan A. Hyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over one-quarter of deaths among 1–4 year-olds in Bangladesh were due to drowning in 2003, and the proportion increased to 42% in 2011. This study describes the current burden and risk factors for drowning across all demographics in rural Bangladesh. A household survey was carried out in 51 union parishads of rural Bangladesh between June and November 2013, covering 1.17 million individuals. Information on fatal and nonfatal drowning events was collected by face-to-face interviews using a structured questionnaire. Fatal and non-fatal drowning rates were 15.8/100,000/year and 318.4/100,000/6 months, respectively, for all age groups. The highest rates of fatal (121.5/100,000/year) and non-fatal (3057.7/100,000/6 months) drowning were observed among children 1 to 4 years of age. These children had higher rates of fatal (13 times) and non-fatal drowning (16 times) compared with infants. Males had slightly higher rates of both fatal and non-fatal drowning. Individuals with no education had 3 times higher rates of non-fatal drowning compared with those with high school or higher education. Non-fatal drowning rates increased significantly with decrease in socio-economic status (SES) quintiles, from the highest to the lowest. Drowning is a major public health issue in Bangladesh, and is now a major threat to child survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number488
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017


  • Bangladesh
  • Drowning rate
  • Fatal
  • Non-fatal
  • Risk-factors
  • Rural areas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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