Vol 74, No 1 (2023)
Published online: 2023-03-24

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Int Marit Health
3; 74, 1: 7579
Copyright © 202
ISSN 1641-9251
eISSN 2081-3252


Dear Colleagues,

with this issue the International Maritime Health Foundation (IMHF), owner and publisher of this journal, wishes to introduce to you a new section named ‘Magazine’.

Among the statutory objectives of the IMHF the most prominent is to provide a platform for the dissemination of knowledge into the maritime health community: the journal you are reading right now!

Despite a long history, the International Maritime Health journal has for a long time struggled to overcome financial challenges. Its editorial staff has gone to extremes to collect, review and publish four issues per year, striving for scientific accomplishment (impact factor!) and recognition by its readers. In October 2021 the IMHF organized an expert workshop aiming to define ways into a sustainable future of the journal and of the foundation in general. A report resulted in numerous recommendations that laid base for the IMHF’s strategy plan. You will hear more about that in this journal.

Among the recommendations was the idea to add to the scientific part of the journal a magazine section to foster its impact in the maritime medical practitioner community.

Today this “new kid on the block” enters the stage. We want to provide you with information ranging from announcements of professional events, to chronicles/obituaries, book reviews, educational articles (CME), ongoing research and development projects and many more.

We would also like to encourage our readers to come forward with own info or feedback. We are looking forward to engage in a hopefully vivid communication with you, our readers!

Nebojsa Nicolic

President Management Board

International Maritime Health Foundation

The ‘Magazine’ section of this journal is supported by the Seafarers’ Charity

Announcements or Events


The Seafarers’ Charity is one of the organizations supporting the International Maritime Health Foundation owner and publisher of this journal through a grant for the 20222024 period.

Therefore, it is our pleasure to make our readers aware of the two fundraising events planned for 2023:

  • Seafarers’ Charity has a limited number tickets to join the team ‘Seafarers KGFS’ at LONDON MARATHON; 23rd April, 2023;
  • Seafarers’ Charity organizes the ‘24 PEAKS CHALLENGE 2023’; 1st to 2nd July, 2023.

For more information and application see: www.theseafarscharity.org

Seafarer Mental Health Conference and Workshop

Friday 28th April 2023 (9.00am–5.45pm)

National Maritime College of Ireland,
Munster Technological University, Cork, Ireland

The International Maritime Health Foundation (IMHF) is delighted to announce a conference and workshop dedicated to addressing Seafarer Mental Health Challenges.

Conference: The purpose of the conference is to actively address facilitators and challenges in relation to the mental health of seafarers. Conference themes include wellbeing, suicide awareness and prevention, public health management, bullying and harassment, and organisational justice, from a policy, legal, and human rights/social justice perspective.

Who should attend? The IMHF welcomes all who seek to make a positive impact on seafarer mental health challenges.

Workshop: The final session of the day will feature an industry consensus workshop to facilitate active knowledge exchange between attendees and to capture input on how to translate recommendations into policy. All conference attendees are invited to contribute to the consensus workshop.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/seafarer-mental-health-workshop-tickets-544643241597

1983–2023, 40th Anniversary of French Medical Assistance at Sea

On October 12th and 13th, 2023, the French telemedical assistance service will organize a meeting in Toulouse to take stock of its activity and to consider its future.

This event, entitled:

“40 years of Medical Assistance at Sea, a common history”

will bring together all the actors involved in this activity. Sailors, shipyards, maritime prefectures, MRCC, French Navy, ....

You are all invited to come and celebrate this anniversary during the meeting.

You can receive the detailed program during the second quarter.

Further information and registration at: ccmm.secretariat@chu-toulouse.fr

News from the International Organizations

Maritime Health Information

Nebojsa Nicolic, Klaus Seidenstuecker

Joint Action Group recommendations to mitigate impacts of health recommendations on transport key workers:

The Joint UN/industry sector Action Group (JAG) was established by the UN Secretary General in December 2021 to review the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world’s transport workers and the global supply chain (TSC). The following organizations cooperate within the JAG-TSC: ILO, WHO, IMO, ICAO, ICS, ITF, IATA, IRU. Since the JAG-TSC has published recommendations. The most recent ones dated January 27, 2023, can be accessed using the following link: https://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_866326/lang--en/index.htm

Another recent publication on the issue is the WHO’s “Statement on the fourteenth meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic”, dated January 30, 2023. This document can be accessed using the following link: who.int/news/item/30-01-2023-statement-on-the-fourteenth-meeting-of-the-international-health-regulations-%282005%29-emergency-committee-regarding-the-coronavirus-disease-%28covid-19%29-pandemic

For more actual information you can register with the WHO webinars at: https://www.who.int/teams/epi-win/epi-win-webinars

Book Review

Textbook of Maritime Health — a gateway to updated knowledge

By Jon Magnus Haga and Alf Magne Horneland

Third edition of Textbook of Maritime Health was recently published. It provides you with a comprehensive overview of the field of maritime health.

Maritime health is a multidisciplinary field, concerned with all aspects of health of people at sea. Health professionals involved in people at sea, face a context that differs to health work on shore. Seafarers may have limited training in health-related matters, even if they are officers in charge of medical care aboard. Maritime health needs to integrate the medical knowledge with the maritime context.

As a medical field, maritime health is diverse. It encompasses most medical disciplines on shore, including public health, occupational medicine and clinical medicine.

The scope of the book is to provide an updated and comprehensive textbook targeted at all those involved in providing health at sea, covering as many aspects of maritime medicine as possible.

The context of health service provision at sea

People are at sea for a variety of reasons. Some are at sea for work, others for leisure. Some are boarding ships, boats, oilrigs or fish farms. Others swim or dive into the sea. Some people travel long distances, others stayed where they are. The maritime domain is diverse. So is maritime health.

A ship is a 24 hours society. Seafarers work, eat, sleep and spend their free time aboard. Thus, maritime health is not only individual-oriented health care, but also health promotion, disease prevention and planning of good healthcare services aboard. Moreover, as health at sea is not only a personal matter, but rather intimately connected with safety and risk of others, maritime health builds on a larger picture of health and maritime safety.

The history of the textbook

The predecessor of the current textbook of maritime health, the Textbook of Maritime Medicine, was first published online in 2009. The textbook contained contributions from a number of authors and was edited by Aksel Schreiner. The textbook was well received, and gained a broad readership in Norway and abroad. Following its success, it was later extensively revised and edited by Tim Carter and republished as a second edition in 2013.

Since 2017 preparation of the third edition has been ongoing. Again, the content was extensively revised and amended. Furthermore, the scope of the textbook was extended to include more topics on the health and welfare of seafarers and the challenges of the maritime industries in general. In the third edition, less focus has been placed on the management of a number of clinical conditions as in previous editions, as these topics have now been covered in the new online Mariners Medico Guide (www.medicoguide.com) developed in parallel with the textbook.

More than 60 international experts were invited to contribute as authors in the third edition These were experts from across the sector and across the world. The texts were edited by a team of clinicians experienced in maritime medicine at the Norwegian Centre for Maritime and Diving Medicine, including Sue Stannard, Tim Carter, Alf Magne Horneland and Jon Magnus Haga.

In order to ensure quality and direction throughout the project, an international advisory board chaired by Alf Magne Horneland has supervised the work with all three editions of the textbook. The editorial board included Luisa Canals (Spain), Tim Carter (United Kingdom), Lisa Loloma Froholdt (Denmark), Henrik Hansen (Denmark), Klaus Seidenstücker (Germany), Suzanne Stannard (United Kingdom), Arne Johan Ulven (Norway) and Rob Verbist (Belgium).

A dynamic publication

The aim of this textbook is to provide information on health services to people at sea, as well as the contextual specifics to health service providers that aims at working with people at sea thus promoting health at sea. Although it is comprehensive, the textbook is by no means final or complete. The field of maritime health is large and ever growing. Thus, the textbook remains a dynamic publication, subject to improvement and amendment as the field develops and suggestions for change or additional topics are brought to the attention of the editors.

Health builds on knowledge. Knowledge is to be shared. The textbook is provided online and free of charge. All those interested in maritime health are invited to read and to share and to contribute with their expertise to future amendments.

Link to the full textbook: https://textbook.maritimemedicine.com/

Presentation of Institutes

The National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) is a constituent college of Munster Technological University (MTU) and is located in the port of Cork. The NMCI is part of a Public Private Partnership in association with the Irish Naval Service and Focus Education. The college provides education and training for those who wish to embark on a maritime career and also provides continuous professional development for practicing seafarers. Most of the courses provided are aligned with the requirements for professional qualifications according to the Standards of Training and Certification of Watchkeepers (STCW) but uniquely, are also aligned with academic qualifications, presently up to Bachelors’ honours degree standard (National Framework of Qualifications at Level 8).

The college provides various entry levels from secondary school leavers to those who work at sea on deck and also personnel who work in shore-based industry. There are four main areas of study; Nautical Science, Marine Engineering, Marine Electrotechnology and Supply Chain/Logistics, all of which are coordinated by the Department of Maritime Studies. Successful students gain qualifications up to Master (Unlimited), Chief Engineer, and Chief Electrotechnology Officer. A related department, NMCI Services, provides a range of courses for professional qualification updating, bespoke courses for the maritime industry such as specific ship simulation, and short courses for the offshore industry.

Mandatory STCW short courses in Elementary First Aid, Medical First Aid and Medical Care are provided. Also, before going to sea, all students/cadets are given lectures on how to adapt to shipboard life in terms of working in a multicultural environment, living away from home and shipboard stress. The college has a full-time student counsellor who meets regularly with students and addresses common mental health issues. The counselling service provides one-to-one meetings for both shore-based and sea-based students. The college was the first third-level college to work with the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN). Senior students complete a module on the human element, and this enables them to implement management decisions for crew welfare and to enhance safe ship operations.

NMCI, in association with the professional organisations, the Nautical Institute (NI) and the Irish Institute of Master Mariners (IIMM), held a successful conference in Autumn 2022 on Seafarer Wellness. In the Spring of 2023 (27th/28th April), international workshops and a conference on Seafarer Mental Health will be held in the college with the objective of addressing maritime policy for the benefit of seafarers worldwide.

The National Maritime College of Ireland/Munster Technological University