When a seafarer and their family are directly involved in sudden and unforeseen circumstances, they may require financial support. In desperate cases where no other help is available, the Seafarers Emergency Fund (SEF) can provide immediate, essential aid. Applications are made on the seafarer’s behalf of by a welfare organisation, and if the criteria are met, the organisation is provided with a grant to help the seafarer and/or their family.
At a health check-up in Singapore, Jessirine – a Cruise Entertainer from the Philippines – was diagnosed with breast cancer and advised to undergo a lumpectomy operation.
After the operation, Jessirine was repatriated to Manila to continue medical treatment. She was referred to AMOSUP Seamen’s Hospital where it was recommended she had an urgent scan to help identify how to proceed with future treatment. Jessirine expected the medical assistance from her manning agent to continue at this stage, but was concerned to find out that she was not covered by the insurance since her medical condition was not work-related.
Jessirine had only finished four months of her last contract and although her husband was working on the same cruise ship, they did not have enough money to cover the medical costs. They were paying rent on their home and school fees for their children. Jessirine was worried that delaying the scan would make her condition worse.
The case was reported to Jun Pablo, ISWAN’s Regional Representative in the Philippines, who submitted a Seafarers Emergency Fund (SEF) application on Jessirine’s behalf to cover her medical costs. The application was approved by three independent advisors to the fund, which was subsequently able to cover the cost of a Protocol Procedure with the Philippine Breast Cancer Network, along with all the necessary supplements Jessirine needed.
Jessirine’s experience of the support offered by ISWAN to seafarers in distress made her proud to work in the maritime industry, and she contacted her colleagues on board to share that ISWAN would assist those in need, whether on board or ashore.
The assistance from the SEF relieved the financial burden on Jessirine’s family, and although the intensive treatment made her weak, Jessirine noticed improvements and hopes to be back at sea after the healing period is over.
For more information about our Seafarers Emergency Fund, click here.