Malaria, how to avoid critical situations on board vessels

In view of the increasing number of cases of seafarers contracting malaria, we feel it is important to inform the shipping community of the following points:

  • Malaria is preventable with prophylactic treatment.
  • Malaria is easily and cheaply treatable

First of all, anti-malaria treatments exist and we recommend primarily to all shipowners with vessels visiting or passing through Africa, to ask the crew members to take their prophylactic treatment. It is easy to implement and can in many cases save lives.

Secondly, we would like to point out that untreated or delayed treatment for malaria infections can lead to death. We invite ship owners to equip themselves with the minimum of medications to treat and combat malaria in case of need, on board the ship, especially when it is far from any medical center.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of this equipment:

  • Malaria tests
  • Oral malaria treatment Artesunate – (early diagnosis and early treatment within 4 days of malaria infection = no complications).
  • Artesunate intramuscular and/or intravenous injections – this can be given until the patient stops vomiting.
  • Paracetamol & Multivitamins
  • Please note that Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatories – NSAIDS including Ibuprofen, Advil, Aspirin, Disprin, Voltaren, Diclofenac, Indomethacin, Ketofen are STRICTLY contra-indicated as this can complicate the malaria infection with fatal bleeding problems.

Early treatment can in ALL circumstances, save lives.

We therefore highly recommend all vessels working in malaria endemic areas to have on board malaria tests and updated WHO approved malaria treatment (Artesunate).

We are always available to assist Owners and the crew members in a critical situation.

We regularly attend vital emergency cases on the African continent. We have set up an emergency answer medical team, ready to intervene promptly and efficiently.

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