International SOS has released Health Risk Map 2015, a tool to help organisations understand the medical risks in the markets in which they operate.

unnamed (2)The Health Risk Map series is now in its sixth year. It helps organisations such as multinational companies, NGOs, educational institutions and governments identify how to anticipate health threats to their employees.

Doug Quarry, Medical Director, Medical Information and Analysis at International SOS said:

?The analysis from our medical experts presents a very interesting story about private healthcare services in some African nations. We have seen continued investment in a number of countries, often from foreign investors, including those in the private medical insurance market. It means citizens, overseas workers and expatriates, have access to higher standard hospital facilities.

We have to view these improvements in the context of the continent?s overall risks. Obviously, the ongoing Ebola outbreak highlights the challenges in existing healthcare systems. Nevertheless, these developments are a positive step for healthcare in Africa. And while we are still talking about relatively low numbers of new quality facilities, we may well see more improvements of this nature in the coming years.?

Without a proper assessment, business travellers and international assignees often have misconceptions about the risks they will be exposed to overseas. The International SOS Health Risk Map is designed to help close the gap between the perception and reality of health risks across the world.

Health Risk Map 2015 indicates health risk by the following categories: ?Low?, ?Medium?, ?High?, ?Extreme? and ?Large Rapidly Developing Countries?.

Medical risk ratings provide an overview of the threats of infectious disease, hygiene and sanitation, accidents and the availability and quality of the local health infrastructure. The ratings are determined by a panel of International SOS Medical Directors.

The new ?Large Rapidly Developing Countries? category includes nations where there is a vast difference between the high quality medical care available in the major cities and the lower levels of care generally available throughout the rest of the country. Countries include Brazil, China and India.

Dr Quarry continued:

?Recent International SOS data shows that over 40% of our medical cases occur in countries classed as ?High? or ?Extreme? risk. This is a significant increase from less than 25% in 2010. Preparation of travellers, including a risk assessment, education and health check programme for staff, will reduce the need for intervention after travel.

This is especially important for people travelling to high and extreme risk countries. Health Risk Map 2015 is just one of the many tools that can help organisations plan and prepare for operations around the world.?

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