Mental health and wellbeing are issues playing out regardless of whether they are ashore or onboard. The way a crew member may experience life onboard with other seafarers, himself or his workload is thus related to him or her as individual, multi-dimensional human being.
A unique strain of listeria has caused the world’s largest documented listeriosis outbreak, with over 550 cases reported since the start of 2017, in South Africa. Crews are advised to check ready-to-eat meat products and use diluted bleach to clean areas where the meat products may have been kept.
There is a series of mosquito borne and transferred diseases on board vessels. Examples of such diseases are malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, Zika Virus, viral encephalitis. If not properly controlled, such vectors could breed on ship and could certainly be carried by ship. Infection with above diseases during voyage represents a serious risk to seafarers’ health and life.
In a response to ongoing outbreaks of yellow fever in Nigeria and Brazil, China has strengthened its quarantine inspection requirements to prevent the virus being carried to China by seagoing vessels. Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne disease with the potential to cause severe health implications.
As part of its Good Mental Health Guides series with ISWAN, the Shipowners Club issued two infographics focusing on mindfulness and mental health to enhance wellbeing onboard. The first reminds crews of mindful techniques for managing stress and the second highlights key components of positive mental health.
The Gard P&I Club issued an alert drawing attention on Asian Gypsy Moth, the destructive forest pest spread via ocean-going vessels in international trade, highlighting that Australia has heightened vessel surveillance for AGM and in New Zealand is introducing new AGM requirements from 1 February 2018.
The UK P&I Club recently focused on Seasonal Affective Disorder that could have a severe impact on seafarers’ health, as well as on maintaining safety onboard. Together with the daily stresses of the job, it can be easy for crew to feel overwhelmed, both mentally and physically.
As a basic guide, most people need about 1.5 to 2 litres of fluid each day, which is about 8 to 10 glasses. Except from water, hydration can be achieved also from other drinks, such as milk and fruit juice, and fruit and vegetables, such as cucumber, lettuce and tomatoes.
Legionella can plague marine vessels but an effective Water Safety Plan can help to mitigate the risk, says John Chillingworth, Senior Marine Principal at Lucion Marine. Ship owners should verify that they correct water management controls and records are in place by having an independent audit.
On the occasion of World’s AIDS Day, on 1 December, UK P&I Club reminds that with the right treatment, people with HIV can live a long and healthy life. The Club also notes that pre-employment medical examination includes consented HIV screening and counselling, if permitted by local law.
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