SoLiD, Saving of Lives from Drowning, project is an implementation study established to test the effectiveness of interventions to prevent and reduce the burden of childhood drowning in rural Bangladesh.


Drowning is the leading cause of death among 1-4 year old children in Bangladesh, accounting for 43 percent of child mortality in this age group. Every year, more than 12,000 children in this age group die due to drowning – that is more than 32 drowning deaths per day. Lack of supervision, high exposure to water hazards, lack of education and poverty are some of the major risk factors for childhood drowning in Bangladesh.

Design and Implementation of SoLiD

The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU), in collaboration with the Centre for Injury Prevention, Health Development and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB) and International Center for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), with financial support from the Bloomberg Philanthropies, will assess the effectiveness of two drowning prevention interventions—the provision of playpens and enrollment in crèche facilities in seven upazilas (sub-districts) of the country. In addition, family education and community awareness on drowning prevention will be provided.

The project will benefit over 270,000 households and maintain injury surveillance for more than 1.2 million people.

CIPRB intervention Upazilas

Icddr,b intervention Upazilas














Matlab South







Matlab North























Children between the ages of 9 – 36 months who are usual residents of the selected upazilas will be the direct beneficiaries of this project. The goal is to reach 80,000 children with the interventions over a two-year period.


Anchal (community crèche): The typical Anchal is a spacious room located in the house of a crèche mother (the Anchal ma) equipped with charts, toys and other amenities that stimulate social and cognitive development of children. The Anchal ma works with an assistant to supervise up to 30 children six days a week between 9:00am and 1:00pm, the peak period when children are most at risk

for drowning in rural Bangladesh. During this period, the Anchal ma addresses safety, development, hygiene, nutrition and other health issues of the children. So far, the project has established about 1,600 Anchals (with 30,000 children enrolled). The goal is to establish 3,200 Anchals under the project.



Children engaged in Anchal activities



Playpen: In the SoLiD project, a playpen is four-sided rigid structure with slats that serve as a barrier to protect the child from the surrounding water hazards. It is a useful aid to parental supervision, especially during critical times when mothers are busy with household chores. Two types of playpens (wooden and plastic) will be used in SoLiD project, both of which will be locally manufactured in Bangladesh and based on international safety standards.


A child in a playpen





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