UN agencies issue new edition of medical guide to help protect seafarers

18 March 2008 –

Three United Nations agencies have teamed up to publish a new edition of the International Medical Guide for Ships, designed to provide practical advice for anyone providing assistance whenever a seafarer falls ill or becomes injured on a ship.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday in a joint communiqué that the new edition – the third – contains updated recommendations and information and is consistent with key international health regulations.

Under the ILO Maritime Labour Convention on 2006, all ships should carry a medicine chest, medical equipment and a guide, such as this book, which was first published in 1967.

Seafarers face greater risks to their health while at sea, in part because of extreme weather conditions and the often long voyages involved, and those who work at sea are considered particularly vulnerable. Their situation is exacerbated by their isolation from the usual sources of medical care and assistance available to people on land.


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