POEA disseminates IMO circular on Ebola prevention for seafarers and manning agencies

Date Posted: October 15th, 2014 06:07 AM

 

POEA disseminates IMO circular on Ebola prevention for seafarers and manning agencies

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday directed Philippine Overseas Employment Administration chief Hans Leo J. Cacdac to sustain its public information campaign among seafarers, and even land-based workers, on the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

"Mobilize POEA personnel to link up and coordinate with ship owners, crewing agents, and manning agencies and continue disseminating accurate and updated information on the EVD, including prescribed precautionary measurestatus with the IMO on the precautions to be taken to minimize risks to seafarers, passengers, and others on board ships from EVD.

The IMO circular seeks to provide information and guidance, based on recommendations by the World Health Organization, on EVD precautionary measures.

Baldoz's new instruction follows the issuance by the POEA on 11 August of Memorandum Circular No. 07 Series of 2014, outlining the guidelines for seafarers and manning agencies in taking precaution against infection of EVD after the POEA Governing Board banned the deployment on newly-hired OFWs to Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and other countries declared by the WHO as EVD-contaminated.

In the guidelines, Cacdac directed the public to the following source of official information make them aware and understand EVD:
Department of Health (DOH)
Ebola Advisory (Tagalog Version)
http://www.healthpromo.doh.gov.ph/ebola-advisory-tagalog/

World Health Organization (WHO)
Ebola Virus Disease Fact Sheet No. 103
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/

In its circular, the IMO stated it is very important to note that a person who is infected with EVD is only able to spread the virus to others after the infected person has started to show symptoms of the virus.

"A person usually has no symptoms for two to 21 days, the incubation period," it said.

According to the WHO, symptoms of EVD include fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache, and sore throat, followed by vomitting, diarrhoaea, rash, and in some cases, bleeding.
The IMO emphasized that EVD is not spread by breathing air, and the airborne particles it contains, the guidelines, from an infected person. "Transmission requires direct contact with blood, secretions, organs, or other body fluids of infected living or dead persons or animals, which are all unlikely exposures for seafarers, passengers, and others on board ships in the normal course of their activities.

Nevertheless, the IMO said the first thing that a seafarer, passenger, or other person need to do in the event he or she has stayed in areas where EVD cases have been reported is to seek medical attention at the first sign of illness.

"Early treatment can improve prognosis," the IMO stated.

It also said any person with illness consistent with EVD, or any person who has had contact with, or is confirmed as having contracted EVD, should not be allowed to join a ship or travel internationally, unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation.

"Every precaution should be exercised to ensure that spread of EVD is prevented," Baldoz added.

END



Created Oct 23rd 2014, 15:21

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