New programme aims to beat malaria bites


A new heath training programme has been launched to warn seafarers about the dangers of malaria.

Avoid the Bite focuses on the risks, symptoms, treatment and prevention in the hope crew members will take responsibility for avoiding the killer disease and seek medical help if they are concerned.

Malaria has always been one of the world’s biggest killers yet, all too often, the dangers are not recognised by ship’s companies or the seafarers themselves.

The hard-hitting film, from Videotel Marine International,  uses a mix of animation, documentary footage, photos and graphics to challenge those who say ‘it won’t happen to me’ and break down many of the myths, challenges and ignorance that surround the disease and its prevention.

“Seafarers are particularly at risk from contracting malaria,” said Videotel CEO Nigel Cleave.

“Their job often takes them into malarial zones far from medical help and they may be at higher risk if they have not taken immunity medication. In addition, if they board a vessel which has not sailed near a malarial zone but have already contracted malaria, the symptoms are such that it can be difficult for anyone onboard to make the correct diagnosis and action the appropriate medical response.”

Avoid the Bite is aimed at all crew, and includes a section specifically for Masters, senior officers and shore-based staff.

The programme is available in DVD with supporting workbook, interactive CD-ROM, or through Videotel’s new Videotel on Demand (VOD) system.