The free ITF Wellbeing app is available for both Android and iOS devices – just download it from your app store or from the ITF Seafarers website.
It contains information and advice on the six issues seafarers have told the ITF are most important to their health and wellbeing: HIV/AIDS, STIs (sexually transmitted infections), tuberculosis (TB), malaria, the Zika virus and stress.
Each section contains basic facts about the disease, its symptoms and how it is transmitted, treated and prevented.
The app sets out the most common myths about HIV/AIDS, STIs, TB and malaria – and the truth. For example, some people believe that HIV/AIDS can be transmitted by mosquito bites, or that only people with a lot of sexual partners get STIs. Neither is true.
The HIV/AIDS pages include contacts for networks of HIV-positive workers and those workers’ rights.
ITF inspectorate co-ordinator Steve Trowsdale said: “When seafarers are away at sea for long stretches of time, it’s really important that they have easy access to factually correct and up-to-date information about the health issues they may experience.
“We’ve launched this app to help seafarers keep themselves and their families safe and well, as part of the ITF’s commitment to delivering accurate information to seafarers to help them make the best choices for their wellbeing.”
The app was developed in co-operation with ITF union AMOSUP (Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines) and other organisations, including Magsaysay Global. It will be promoted by ITF seafarer unions and by ITF inspectors during ship visits.
In 2018, the app will be available in a number of languages.
The app is one element of the ITF’s programme on HIV/AIDS, health and wellbeing, tailored to seafarers’ needs in response to seafarer and union concerns. Read about the first wellbeing seminar for Myanmar maritime students.