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Covid-19: Bangladeshi union in massive community response

27 Apr 2020

Supplying protective equipment, offering accommodation, mental health support services – just some of what is being done by the Bangladesh Merchants Marine Officers Association (BMMOA) for its members and the wider community in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

“We wanted to act proactively in this situation,” said captain Mohammed Anam Chowdhury, president of the BMMOA. “We have a social responsibility to the seafarers and their families, and also to people working in health-related professions.”

As part of its response, the BMMOA has:

  • given personal protective equipment (PPE) to the families of seafarers worried about their wellbeing
  • provided accommodation in rest houses to seafarers stranded in ports and in the capital, Dhaka
  • supplied PPE free to healthcare workers at more than 60 hospitals and healthcare facilities, including those in the port city of Chattogram caring for Covid-19 patients
  • entered into corporate agreements with hospitals to provide access to treatment for members and their families during the crisis

To allow the BMMOA to increase their work, for seafarers’ welfare the ITF Seafarers’ Trust has approved a grant for the union. Other unions interested in applying for a Covid-19 welfare fund can find more information here.

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