Seafarers’ challenging working conditions and lifestyle and the prevalence of smoking, lack of exercise and poor diet within the group have all contributed to a higher risk of seafarers developing diabetes as compared to the general populace, numerous studies confirm.
To address concerns of a higher risk for seafarers to develop diabetes, Swire Pacific Offshore (SPO) and The China Navigation Company (CNCo) partnered with the Mission to Seafarers, a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting seafarers worldwide, to produce a health guide, entitled A Seafarers’ Guide to Understanding Diabetes in 2015.
Swire said that the guide seeks to explain the dangers of diabetes in the context of seafaring and to suggest practical lifestyle adjustments that seafarers can make to minimise their risks of the disease.
Captain Simon Bennett, General Manager of Sustainable Development at Swire Pacific Offshore said, “We produced this educational guide as part of our ongoing Sustainable Development initiatives. We aim to raise awareness about Type 2 diabetes and encourage our seafarers to pursue a healthier lifestyle. This benefits the both seafarers and their families through a longer and healthier lives, plus the companies through reduced medical costs and lower turnover of expensively trained, competent, experienced seafarers.”
The guide was designed to be able to be circulated in hard or soft copy to any other companies’ fleet, and is freely available on request from the Mission to Seafarers. It has been distributed in over 50 shipping companies after debuting in the Sea Asia Conference in April 2015.