International SOS sees increase in demand for Malaria advice

25 April 2014 ,  —


• Requests for advice from travellers, expatriates and overseas workers up 27% since 2010

• 11% of all International SOS medical cases attributed to infectious illnesses including malaria and dengue fever

• The top 5 countries for malaria cases among members are: Nigeria, Angola, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Mozambique

International SOS has seen a 27% rise in the number of calls for information and advice on malaria since 2010. In 2013 the Group dealt with approximately 870 malaria cases worldwide. This includes evacuations, hospitalisations, out-patient visits and requests for information.


Cases are handled by medical teams and logistics experts at the 27 International SOS Assistance centres, as well as the Group’s clinics and other dedicated on-site medical facilities across the world. Countries with high rates of malaria are often classed as ‘high’ or ‘extreme’ risk. International SOS data shows nearly 80% of travellers and expatriates who are hospitalised in extreme risk nations require a medical evacuation. In 2013, out of all infectious illnesses, malaria was the leading cause of hospitalisation and evacuation for travellers and expatriates in Africa.


The information is being released to mark World Malaria Day on 25 April. International SOS Medical Director - Medical Information, Dr Irene Lai said:

“Malaria is a key challenge that many businesses with overseas operations face. A growing number of business travellers and expatriates are being sent to countries with higher medical risks, and many more of them are requiring medical assistance.

Malaria is largely preventable. Organisations can reduce the risk of malaria in their employees through pre-deployment programmes that include education on how to prevent mosquito-borne infections, awareness of symptoms, and what to do if they get sick. Fatalities occur with the failure to recognise symptoms, misdiagnosis, inappropriate treatment or delays in treatment.

More members are contacting us about malaria, which reflects the risk of the locations they are travelling to as well as the demand for quality information and assistance.

Companies that have operations in malarial areas must develop an integrated approach for malaria prevention, control, diagnosis and treatment. With the proper programmes and procedures in place, malaria can be avoided. Take steps to reduce the dangers to members of your workforce and the likelihood of a costly medical evacuation.”


International SOS medical case data on malaria also shows:

• Travellers to Nigeria account for the highest number of requests for advice and information, followed by those travelling to Angola, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Mozambique
• Indonesia has the highest number of members requiring treatment for malaria
• Men more likely to contact International SOS about Malaria than women

An integrated approach to malaria is crucial – International SOS guidance includes the following:

• Assess your risk and define your policies and standards for malaria prevention and control
• Target the disease at each stage of the malaria cycle – from vector control, to personal protection (including bite prevention and preventive medication),  diagnosis and treatment
• Provide access to education, clinical services and medical assistance for malaria case management


Corporate Malaria Management Programme

International SOS has recently launched a new Corporate Malaria Management Programme, designed to give client organisations the right solutions to better understand and mitigate risks across their operations. The programme includes a brand-new, tablet ready malaria awareness eLearning course, made available in April 2014.

Gregoire Pinton, Group General Manager for Products at International SOS said:

“If not managed effectively, the impact of malaria on employee health, workforce productivity, business continuity and company reputation can be significant. Yet the risks of the disease are often under-estimated.

Our Corporate Malaria Management Programme provides clients with the knowledge, materials and training that will enable them to avoid these implications for their workforce. “


Notes to Editors

About the International SOS Group of Companies

The International SOS Group of Companies is in the business of saving lives, protecting your global workforce from health and security threats. Wherever you are, we deliver customised health, security risk management and wellbeing solutions to fuel your growth and productivity. In the event of extreme weather, an epidemic or a security incident, we provide an immediate response providing peace of mind. Our innovative technology and medical and security expertise focus on prevention, offering real-time, actionable insights and on-the-ground quality delivery. We help protect your people, your organisation's reputation, as well as support your compliance reporting needs. By partnering with us, organisations can fulfil their Duty of Care responsibilities, while empowering business resilience, continuity and sustainability.


Founded in 1985, the International SOS Group, headquartered in London & Singapore, is trusted by 12,000 organisations, including the majority of the Fortune 500, as well as mid-size enterprises, governments, educational institutions and NGOs. 12,000 multicultural medical, security and logistics experts stand with you to provide support & assistance from over 1,000 locations in 90 countries, 24/7, 365 days.   

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