Conference Themes 2019

The World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2019 themes reflect the challenges of reducing the burden of drowning in all communities, nations and regions of the world. These themes build on the 2014 WHO Global Report on Drowning by aligning with the key action items identified in the WHO implementation guide to preventing drowning. Presentations from each of the themes will be distributed throughout the conference program in crosscutting sessions that address specific issues from many viewpoints. Abstract submissions should reflect current understanding and advances in any of these themes. Submissions that address knowledge gaps in areas of indigenous populations, culturally diverse and vulnerable communities, and low resource settings are encouraged. Specifically, submissions that address drowning prevention across Africa, prepared and delivered by African scholars, NGOs and agencies are strongly encouraged.


Situational assessments for informed prevention

This theme encompasses papers that:

  • Measure the global, national and community burden of fatal and non-fatal drowning
  • Identify barriers to accurate and consistent drowning data collection
  • Analyse contributing factors, exposures and social determinants of drowning risk
  • Explore drowning risks in migrant and refugee populations
  • Address knowledge gaps in drowning epidemiology
  • Describe the socio-economic impact of drowning
  • Assess the human capacity and financial resources required for prevention
  • Explore the impact of disasters and climate change on the drowning burden


Effective interventions

This theme encompasses papers that:

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of drowning prevention interventions that:
    • Establish safe places and effective barriers controlling access to water
    • Build resilience and manage risk in floods and other disasters
    • Enforce safe boating, shipping and ferry regulations
  • Address humanitarian factors contributing to drowning risk in refugees and during migration
  • Define measures of effectiveness in drowning prevention
  • Describe operational challenges and their practical solutions, in drowning prevention interventions and lifesaving programs

This theme also includes a sub-theme that specifically focuses on investigating the effectiveness of teaching swimming and water safety skills as interventions.


Strategies for supporting sustainable prevention efforts

This theme encompasses papers that:

  • Describe measures to improve organisational effectiveness including leadership development and capacity building
  • Evaluate approaches for scaling up effective drowning prevention interventions
  • Evaluate advocacy, public awareness & strategic communication initiatives
  • Review the development and implementation of policy and legislation
  • Evaluate national, sub-national and community water safety plans
  • Evaluate national, sub-national and community partnerships
  • Evaluate multi-sectoral approaches to drowning prevention
  • Aid in prioritising the drowning research agenda


Advancements in rescue and resuscitation

This theme encompasses papers that:

  • Evaluate advancements in lifesaving, lifeguarding and rescue standards, equipment and practice.
  • Evaluate programs that seek to train bystanders in safe rescue and resuscitation
  • Present innovative solutions to challenges experienced by rescuers in low resource settings
  • Analyse factors influencing the outcome of rescue operations
  • Describe operational challenges, and their practical solutions, in rescue organisations

This theme also encompasses evidence-based medical papers that:

  • Advance resuscitation guidelines
  • Advance medical treatment of drowning patients
  • Analyse the impact of neurological and other outcomes following non-fatal drowning


The role of drowning prevention in the development agenda

This theme encompasses papers that explore areas of alignment between drowning prevention and the development agenda, with emphasis on:

  • Access to safe and clean water
  • Health and development
  • Climate change
  • The Sendai Framework and Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Gender and equality

Guidance for Presenters of Poster Presentations

The following guidance is provided for all presenters of Poster Presentations. 

Poster Area:

This will be in Hall 2 of the Durban ICC in the Expo area – This is where 25 x Expo booths are set-up, including break time refreshment and lunch stations.

Display area – Within the WCDP Exhibition area, alongside the Plenary sessions.

Posters will be displayed according to their nominated poster session and poster number, as indicated in the WCDP Conference Program and Proceedings Booklet. Details will be advised in August.

Please note – The WCDP is not responsible for any poster material set up or poster material left at the venue.

Queries – If you have any questions on the day, please visit the Presenters’ Support Centre.

Poster Specifications:

Format – Large printed sheet of poster paper. Lamination is recommended. If travelling by air it is suggested to roll your poster and transport by carrying tube.

Poster Boards – Standard off-white shell scheme panels for both the Expo booths and the poster boards.

Poster panels – The actual size of the panels is 964 (wide) x 2300 (high). In terms of actual poster size, the following must be adhered to:

Poster Orientation – Portrait only (no exceptions)

Maximum Size – 850mm wide and 1200mm high = A0 poster dimensions

Minimum Size – 594mm wide and 841mm high = A1 poster dimensions

Set-up & Take down – The set up and take down of the poster is solely the responsibility of the presenter.

Fixing of poster to panel – Please supply your own two-way tape or prestik, which must be completely removed afterwards.

Printing of Posters in Durban – This will be an available option. Prices and details will be advertised via a communication in early August.  Having your poster printed locally will avoid the challenge of transporting your poster by air to Durban.  If you wish to take advantage of this option, follow the guidance below on Submit Final Poster Presentation and ensure that your poster file is submitted by 15th September at the latest.

Poster Guidelines:

  • In preparing your poster, do not attempt to detail your entire research, project or program.
  • Present only enough data to support conclusions or to explain the relevant point(s).
  • Data should be kept to a minimum, in favour of diagrams and photographs.
  • Aim for a simple message in an eye-catching manner.
  • All text, photographs and diagrams should be legible at a distance 1.5m.
  • Titles should be 24pt minimum.
  • All text must be in English.
  • Be simple and direct in your poster presentation.
  • Use short phrases and “bulleted” text through the poster.
  • Avoid long narrative paragraphs.
  • Layout – arrange the poster panels for logical flow from top left to lower right of the board.
  • Bring a supply of business cards or other forms of identification and contact details to hand out during your nominated Poster Session. This is a quick way of distributing your name and address to interested parties.


We look forward to meeting you in Durban.

 Uploading your Poster presentation to the Presentation Portal App in EventsAir:

  • Login to the Presentation Portal App: WCDP 2019 Presentation Portal App
  • Select Edit Abstract
  • Select Edit against the appropriate WCDP 2019 Final item – the check box to the left of this will be empty with a red outline
  • This opens a small window to allow you to browse your computer for the required file
  • Select the file that you wish to upload
  • Click on Update
  • The file will be uploaded
  • The check box will then be filled and the outline changed to green
  • Logout of the Presentation Portal App
  • If you need to amend your poster you can delete it and re-upload the amended file as If you have any issues in managing this part of the process, please contact me immediately.