Swire Pacific Offshore and The China Navigation Company are working together to raise seafarers’ awareness of diabetes.
The companies, both part of the Swire Group, have produced a health guide called A Seafarers’ Guide to Understanding Diabetes and have partnered with The Mission to Seafarers to distribute it.
Multiple research projects have shown that seafarers have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared with the general population. This may be due in large part to lifestyle factors such as smoking, lack of exercise, and poor diet.
The guide, produced in conjunction with The Mission to Seafarers and launched at SeaAsia Conference as part of Singapore Maritime Week on 21 April, has been circulated internally to both Swire Pacific Offshore fleet, numbering more than 88 vessels, and The China Navigation Company’s fleet, which comprises 35 owned ships and 20 chartered-in ships. The guide was designed to be circulated in hard or soft copy to other companies’ fleets and is available free on request from The Mission to Seafarers.
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The guide explains the dangers of diabetes to seafarers and suggests practical lifestyle adjustments that they can make to minimise their risk of getting the condition.
Simon Bennett, general manager for sustainable development at Swire Pacific Offshore and The China Navigation Company, told IHS Maritime, “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. Both the seafarers and their families could benefit from longer, healthier lives, plus the companies through reduced medical costs and lower turnover of expensively trained, competent, experienced seafarers.”
The International Diabetes Federation estimates that as of 2013, 382 million adults suffered from diabetes, which will eventually affect one out of 10 adults by 2035. The condition causes 5.1 million deaths annually.