Ukrainian seafarers get up to date medical guide

Ukrainian seafarers now have up to date medical and health information, including on the Covid-19 virus, thanks to a new edition of the Medical Guide for Seafarers, from the Marine Transport Workers’ Trade Union of Ukraine (MTWTU).

Originally developed by the Ukrainian Scientific Research Institute of Transport Medicine in 2018, the Guide presents general information on emergency health conditions and the principles of providing first aid. With a grant from the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, the MTWTU was able to produce an updated new edition of the book with vital information for seafarers on COVID-19.

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As well as general information the guide also advises crews on how to assist a sick or injured crew member and also provides information on onboard hygiene risks and seafarers’ occupational diseases.

MTWTU First Vice Chairman Oleg Grygoriuk said “A seafarer’s job is one of the most hazardous in the world, where the slightest error or delay can cause irreparable harm to a person. Despite the fact that seafarers regularly undergo medical examination, their health is constantly under threat. In modern realities, without a doctor on board, health or even the life of a seafarer or a whole crew can depend on how timely and skilfully first aid is provided onboard. That is why we believe that such a Guide can prevent or help avoiding possible troubles, because nothing is more important than human health and wellbeing,”

The MTWTU launched the new edition of the book at a small (socially distanced) event on 18 August.  Copies of the book were presented to attendees with a presentation from an infectious diseases specialist who discussed the most common myths about COVID-19 with MTWTU members. The updated edition will also be sent to ships and distributed among MTWTU seafarers.

Katie Higginbottom said “Seafarers, like all of us, need trusted sources of information on health and wellbeing. With limited or no shore leave restricting their access to medical advice, resources like these are essential to support seafarers’ health and prevent the spread of Covid-19.”

Read more here about the ITF Seafarers’ Trust Covid-19 Welfare fund

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