Sunday, November 9, 2014

SAI Drowning Prevention Collaboration in Uganda

Starfish Aquatics Institute (SAI) announced today that it is partnering in an international drowning prevention collaboration in Uganda with the International Surf Lifesaving Association, Lifeguards Without Borders and Nile Swimmers. Representatives from each organization will be joining SwimSafe Uganda this month for a water safety and lifesaving training program in Kampala, Uganda. SAI is an international training, certification and aquatic risk management organization. The collaborative effort, known as Project Uganda 2014, will educate Ugandans on the importance of lifeguards, water safety and drowning prevention. Two national media conferences have been scheduled in conjunction with the events.

“Evidence shows that lifesaving programs greatly reduce the drowning rates in resource deficit areas,” said Justin Sempsrott, M.D., Medical Director for SAI and the Executive Director of Lifeguards Without Borders. “Together, we have the opportunity to have a tremendous impact on this country. 95% of the world’s drowning deaths occur in low and middle income countries. Data is hard to come by in these areas and it is believed that Africa and Southeast Asia bear the largest global burden of drowning.” 

Along with SwimSafe Uganda, SAI, ISLA, Lifeguards Without Borders and Nile Swimmers will unite with the other two national lifesaving agencies in Uganda, the Uganda Lifesaving Federation and the Royal Lifesaving Federation, to coordinate their drowning prevention efforts. In addition to the water safety and lifesaving program, the organizations will meet to recommend legislation on water safety, swim instruction and lifesaving with representatives from the following organizations:

 Ministry of Education and Sports

 Kampala Capital City Authority

 Ministry of Youth and Children

 Uganda Police

 National Council of Sports

 Uganda Swimming Federation

“In addition to our meetings with the government, I will lecture on water safety while in Uganda,” Dr. Sempsrott noted. “I will also review the lifesaving course methodology so that best practices are incorporated for use by Ugandans." SwimSafe Uganda hosted one lifesaving clinic prior to this collaborative effort. “Close to one hundred swimming coaches, lifeguards, and pool attendants participated in the lifesaving swimming clinic last year,” Moses Kalanzi, the coordinator of SwimSafe Uganda said. “I believe these clinics will go a long way in helping us understand and develop skills in lifesaving in the country,” he stressed.  In the past, SwimSafe partnered with the Ugandan National Council on Sports, Police/Fire Prevention/Rescue Organization and the Ministries of Education, Sports, and Youth/Children to initiate the event.

FollowProject Uganda as it unfolds: 

Use #Collaboration on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter for live updates of the project.

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