December 3, 2022

Angela Onwuzoo

A Consultant Paediatrician, Nephrology Division at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Katsina, Dr. Abdurrazzaq Alege, has said that children should be adequately protected against drowning anywhere be it at home or in public spaces.

According to him, a swimming pool in the house must have four-sided perimeter fencing with restricted access by children. 

Dr. Alege disclosed this during an exclusive interview with Reportr Door HealthWise.

He was reacting to the unfortunate death of Ifeanyi, the son of popular singer, David Adeleke, aka Davido, and his fiancée, Chioma Rowland.

The boy died on Monday, October 31, 2022, after drowning in a swimming pool in the singer’s Banana Island, Lagos, residence.

In the wake of the sad news, several persons have been expressing concern about children having access to a swimming pool.

Speaking with our correspondent, the paediatrician said a child should not swim unsupervised by adults at any time.

He said, “Life jackets should be made available. However, this must not take the place of adult supervision. Older children are not enough to supervise young ones. A child can drown in as little as two inches of water. Also, it should be noted that pool alarms and pool covers do not replace four-sided fencing.”

The World Health Organisation says drowning has a tragic and profound impact on families and communities.

It states that drowning is among the 10 leading causes of death for people aged one to 24 years with children under-five at the greatest risk.

The global health body noted that in 2019, an estimated 236, 000 people died from drowning, making drowning a major public health problem worldwide.

To reduce the risk of children dying via drowning, Dr. Alege recommended that children should be taught how to swim by a trained specialist.

The childcare expert noted that medical conditions like epilepsy or heart disease require speedy attention during swimming.

The paediatrician also suggested that all adults should have Basic Life Support skills to be able to rescue another individual, especially children during an emergency.

The WHO pointed out that children who live near open water sources, such as ditches, ponds, irrigation channels, or pools are especially at risk.

“Drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death, accounting for seven percent of all injury-related deaths.

“More than 90 percent of drowning deaths occur in rivers, lakes, wells, domestic water storage vessels and swimming pools in low- and middle-income countries, with children and adolescents in rural areas disproportionately affected,” WHO said. 

The Lagos State Police Command had on Saturday said the autopsy conducted on the corpse of Ifeanyi, revealed that he died as a result of drowning.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the development in a chat with our correspondent.

Hundeyin said, “Autopsy has been concluded. It confirms the boy (Ifeanyi) drowned.”

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