Geneva DryCimbriaTBA GroupViganSailors SocietyPort of Stockton
  • TMS Awards 2023
  • Geneva Dry
  • Port of South Louisiana
  • Port of Stockton
  • Sailors Society
  • Cimbria

MMS raises awareness over improper use of antibiotics on board vessels

MMS raises awareness over improper use of antibiotics on board vessels

(Posted on 29/03/24)

Leading provider of medical support services for crews, Marine Medical Solutions (MMS), is concerned over the rise in crew members being given unnecessary antibiotics which may reduce the effectiveness of these vital medications in the future.

The company says that ships’ Masters should ideally seek medical input whenever they feel the need to give seafarers antibiotics as this type of medication is only of benefit when treating a bacterial infection. Impropriate or overuse of antibiotics does lead to antibiotic resistance and contribute to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains which will leave not only seafarers but also the wider population at greater future risk when they do develop a bacterial infection and this could eventually lead to economic losses for maritime.

Doctor Jens Tülsner, CEO at MMS, said, "We are witnessing a troubling trend where Masters and seafarers, with little medical knowledge, are resorting to antibiotics as a quick fix for various health issues onboard vessels. The improper use of antibiotics not only fails to address the root cause of the illness, for example it will have no impact on viral infections such as colds and influenza or other more serious illnesses, but may also leave users vulnerable to unnecessary and unpleasant side effects.

“Masters are expected to make difficult decisions based on limited medical knowledge and we would like them to feel free to seek professional medical assistance, such as telemedical consultations, when faced with health issues onboard. By doing so, we can ensure timely and appropriate medical care for seafarers, mitigating the risks of serious illnesses and economic losses,” he said.

Ships’ Masters have the authority to make medical decisions, including the administration of pharmaceuticals, but only receive scant medical training prior to taking command of a vessel and the associated responsibility for crew health and wellbeing. This lack of medical expertise has led to a concerning pattern where antibiotics are being handed out prematurely, prolonging or exacerbating health issues rather than resolving them, says MMS, and in some cases, seafarers are even bringing their own antibiotics onboard and self-prescribing.

Failure to seek appropriate medical advice has resulted in a substantial number of seafarers with advanced stages of illnesses, requiring hospitalisation and repatriation. This not only places a significant financial burden on maritime companies but also disrupts operations and jeopardises the wellbeing of crew members, the company said.

Latest News

CSM Türkiye collaboration with bulker operator Transoba Denizcilik

(Posted on 15/05/24)

Columbia Shipmanagement (CSM), member of Columbia Group, has underlined its commitment to the Turkish... Read more

OTG and WISTA join forces to drive gender diversity and inclusion

(Posted on 15/05/24)

Ocean Technologies Group (OTG), the leading global provider of Human Capital Management solutions for... Read more

InterManager statement on recent GISIS accident reporting

(Posted on 15/05/24)

InterManager, the international trade association for the ship management sector, has been keeping accident... Read more

King Charles accepts Sailors’ Society’s patronage

(Posted on 15/05/24)

His Royal Highness King Charles III has accepted the Patronage of Sailors‘ Society, continuing... Read more

Baltic Exchange publishes PwC dry bulk and container box indices reports

(Posted on 09/05/24)

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) has concluded two independent assurance engagements on the suitability... Read more

Vessel financing facility announced

(Posted on 09/05/24)

In a landmark partnership, Damen Financial Services (DFS) and Siemens Financial Services (SFS) have... Read more

DAN Shipping & Chartering Acquire Arthur Smith (Grimsby)

(Posted on 09/05/24)

DAN Shipping & Chartering have announced the acquisition of Arthur Smith (Grimsby) Ltd, a prominent... Read more

ESG provides roadmap for dry bulk shipping says INTERCARGO’s first review

(Posted on 02/05/24)

The evolving Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) agenda is not merely a prerequisite for operating... Read more

Concern as challenges faced by Indian seafarers become more visible

(Posted on 02/05/24)

Mental Health Support Solutions (MHSS) is deeply concerned as levels of loneliness and isolation experienced... Read more

OTG equips crews for ammonia-fuelled future with new e-learning course

(Posted on 02/05/24)

With ammonia gaining popularity as a clean future fuel, and the first ammonia-powered vessels expected... Read more

Bühler GmbHTMS Awards 2023Port of South LouisianaVan AalstTelestack
  • TBA Group
  • Bühler GmbH
  • Telestack

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest global news in bulk cargo handling and shipping