Financial support for critical medical treatment

November 30, 2021

When a seafarer or their family are involved in a sudden and unforeseen situation, they may require financial support, and the Seafarers Emergency Fund (SEF) can provide immediate, essential aid.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a young seafarer called Jessie from the Philippines was diagnosed with kidney failure after spotting symptoms while he was on board. Jessie’s doctor advised him to start dialysis immediately and line up for a transplant.

Jessie started dialysis twice a week. He was unable to return to work on board due to his condition and his wife did not have a job, and their health insurance and help from family and friends was not enough to cover their daily expenses and Jessie’s medical treatment.

Jessie and his wife approached ISWAN for financial assistance and our team in the Philippines helped them to apply to the Seafarers' Emergency Fund (SEF). Their application was approved and Jessie received a grant to cover the cost of his dialysis for the next three months along with medicine and other medical treatment costs. He sent ISWAN this message:

‘We would like to say thank you so much, ISWAN, especially for the cash assistance that you have given me. It's really a big help, especially for my continuing medication. We are also thankful to [ISWAN] for assisting me in my application.’

At the last update, we learned that Jessie is continuing with his dialysis. We continue to offer Jessie a helping hand with preparing the documents he needs to apply for medical assistance.

If you are a seafarer and need help in a crisis, you can contact our free, confidential, 24-hour helpline, SeafarerHelp, for guidance and support. All contact details can be found at

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