817 - 03/12 - Malaria - Worldwide
Malaria is not a new concern amongst seafarers however despite this issue being well documented the industry still suffers from its effects. The Club's recent exposure highlights some important concerns.
According to the World Malaria Report 2011, there were 216 million cases of malaria worldwide and an estimated 655 000 deaths in 2010. Although malaria mortality rates have fallen by more than 25% globally since 2000 malaria still presents a considerable threat to a seafarer’s health.
The most vulnerable to malaria are typically the young and the infirm however with early diagnosis and treatment the rate of infection worldwide has seen a dramatic decrease. Malaria poses a greater risk for seafarers, particularly where symptoms may manifest at sea and therefore shore based medical assistance may not be immediately available.
Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted via the bites of infected mosquitoes. In the human body, the parasites multiply in the liver, and then infect red blood cells.
Symptoms of malaria include fever, headache and vomiting, and usually appear between 10 and 15 days after the mosquito bite. If not treated, malaria can quickly become life-threatening by disrupting the blood supply to vital organs. In many parts of the world, the parasites have developed resistance to a number of malaria medicines.
Unquote (www.WHO.int 20.03.2012)
The typical number of cases the Club sees has remained relatively steady however, there has been a noticeable upward trend to the costs involved in each case. Extenuating circumstances in one particular case from 2009 saw the associated costs increase to in excess of $800 000.
Read more in the attached bulletin.