Vol 69, No 3 (2018)
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Published online: 2018-09-27

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Does long-term length of stay on board affect the repatriation rates of seafarers?

Antonio Roberto Abaya1, Jose Jaime Lorenzo Rivera1, Saren Roldan1, Raymond Sarmiento2
Pubmed: 34428876
IMH 2018;69(3):157-162.


Background: The length of seafarers’ contract has undergone scrutiny regarding the health, welfare, and fatigue of the crew. This study investigates whether a stay of more than 200 days can increase the risk of medical repatriation among Filipino seafarers.

Materials and methods: We reviewed the number of medical repatriations from January 2014 to December 2016, specifically those who were repatriated after more than 200 days on board. We used WHO ICD-10 classification to categorise diseases and medical events that cause the repatriation, and classified them under “Injury” or “Illness” as defined by the Occupational Injury and Illness Classification Manual. We also separated those who worked on cargo vessels as well as those who worked on passenger ships. We requested for the total number of seafarers who worked longer than 200 days on board. After calculating a repatriation rate for this specific group of long-term workers, we then compared this with a previous study. Chi-square analysis and regression analysis were applied to analyse the data comparing the passenger versus cargo ships repatriation rates.

Results: There were a total of 840 cases of long-term repatriations in this study for the 3 year period. The total number of crew who had stayed for more than 200 days was 51,830. The different causes of repatriation are presented. Repatriation rates are also shown and a study of the regular stay and long term contracts are also compared.

Conclusions: There are various disease entities significantly higher in the long term work group. We offer some possible explanations for some of these differences in repatriation rates. This data could be useful in planning of schedules, work hours and contracts as well as the prevention of disease in seafarers.

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