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Road accidents a major source of medical evacuations

Road accidents are a major hazard for UAE-based business travellers in the region, according to leading medical and travel security risk services company International SOS, and one of the top five causes of medical evacuations led by International SOS globally.

UAE-based executives are travelling increasingly in the Middle East and Africa, International SOS research has found. Many of the countries they visit rank poorly for road safety, with some recording amongst the highest rates of road accidents in the world.

In an effort to help organisations manage this risk for their travelling workforces, International SOS and its joint venture partner Control Risks are launching Travel Risk: Road Safety, a new e-learning module for business travellers. The module has been developed with the Global Road Safety Partnership.

Three of the top ten most dangerous countries for driving are in the Middle East, according to World Health Organisation figures. They are Iran, Iraq and Oman. Four African countries also feature – Nigeria, South Africa, Guinea-Bissau and Chad.

Some 18 per cent of all executives in the UAE now work across the GCC, International SOS research has found. For 11 per cent, their work spans the Middle East and North Africa and 3 per cent cover sub-Saharan Africa. Amongst its own clients, International SOS has seen business travel from the UAE increase by 33 per cent over the past three years, compared to just over 16 per cent from New York, some 14 per cent from Singapore and just over 6 per cent from London.

Julian Moro, regional security director for International SOS and Control Risks, advises clients on how to manage their travel security in the Middle East and North, East & Southern Africa. He is based in International SOS’ Dubai office.

“Road travel is such a common everyday activity, there is a tendency to underestimate the risks involved and in our region those risks can be considerable,” says Moro. “Our goal with this new programme is to make business travellers more aware, and stop them falling victim to tragic accidents abroad. For the organisations sending them, increasing understanding of road safety is just one way they should be living up to their duty of care to their travelling employees.”

The Global Road Safety Partnership is a non-profit organisation that brings together the leading multi- and bi-lateral development agencies, governments, businesses and civil society organisations involved in road safety. It is hosted by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

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