There were several important international meetings in 2006, as the 7th Global Meeting of WHO Collaborating Centres for Occupational Health held in Stresa, Italy, in June, the International Symposium ErgoMare held in Lorient, France, in October, the Annual Scientific Meeting of EUBS held in Bergen, Norway, in August, and the Joint Conference on Oxygen and Tissue Repair held in Ravena, Italy, in October. All of them concerned the health and safety of maritime workers. In 3 of them participated the representatives of the Institute in Gdynia. Short reports on them are included in the contents of this issue of our journal. And a number of papers presented during these meetings are published in this volume of the International Maritime Health.
The main subject of the WHO meeting was the international collaboration of research institutes coordinated by WHO on the protection against work-related diseases and accidents. Only in European countries, every year 300 000 workers die of work-related diseases, and 27 000 of them die in occupational accidents. This is a heavy burden, and action to control the problem is urgently needed, and shall be coordinated.
Since many years, the activities of the Network of 30 WHO Collaborating Centres on occupational health in 18 countries only in the WHO European Region are focused on this task and the Centres implemented a series of projects in 2001-2005, what is reported in the paper of Dr M.Fingerhut and Ms E.Kortum published in this issue. The work of all the Centres will be continued upto 2010, according to the Work Plan adopted in Stresa. All of them will provide the continued support both in terms of human resources and technical expertise.
Our Institute in Gdynia being the WHO Inter-regional Collaborating Centre on Maritime Occupational Health offered two project related to the health of seafarers and fishermen to be implemented in 2006-2010.
The ErgoMare Symposium held in Lorient brought together a large group of scientists and medical officers who examine and treat fishermen and other maritime workers. Th report on this symposium writtten by Mrs Christine Chauvin, the Member of the Scientific Committee, as well as a number of papers peresented there, are published in this special issue of our journal devoted to the ErgoMare meeting.
In 2007, there will be two international meetings on maritime occupational health: the 9th International Symposium on Maritime Health in Esbjerg in June, and the SIRC Symposium in Cardiff in July. The particpants of these meetings who will present papers there are invited to publish them in the 2007 issue of our journal.
In Gdynia, regarding maritime occupational health – business as usual.
There will be a change in the Editorial office of the IMH journal. Dr Bogdan Jaremin, Co-Editor for this volume of the IMH will take over from the present Editor. Dr Tomaszunas will be Co-Editor as from 2007. Both of them thank all Members of the Editorial Board for their efforts to keep the high standard of the journal and for continued support, and Authors for sending us good text of their articles.
Our best wishes to all – Happy New Year 2007.
Dr Stanislaw Tomaszunas