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New Study Reveals Benefits Of Prevention Programmes To The Bottom Line

  • Average investment in an international assignment is US$311,000 per annum
  • Cost of a failed assignment ranges between US$570,000 to $950,000
  • Pre-travel health check programmes reduce the occurrence of failed assignments
  • Investing in pre-travel health checks results in up to 2.5X cost savings
  • Employee malaria prevention programmes could reduce the number of fatal cases by 70%

A new study reveals the benefits of implementing pre-travel health checks and malaria prevention measures for business travellers and international assignees.
Return on Prevention, published by Prevent and commissioned by the International SOS Foundation, analyses the average monetary investment required to relocate an employee for an international assignment and the costs that incur when an assignment fails due to an employee’s inability to fulfil the assignment due to poor health. 
The study shows how the benefits of implementing a travel health prevention strategy significantly outweigh the operating costs of the programme. 
A medical check for travellers and international assignees aimed at identifying pre-existing medical issues before assigning employees to a foreign country. This ensures employees are fit for the proposed assignment and its working conditions. It identifies general and work-related health problems before the assignment begins:

  • The cost-benefit analysis showed that $1 invested returns a benefit ranging from $1.6 (minimum scenario) to $2.53 (maximum scenario).

A malaria prevention programme aimed at employees travelling and working in malaria-risk regions. Employees are given information before departure and receive prophylaxis medication and other technical protection means such as mosquito-nets, insecticide sprays and repellents as well as a malaria curative kit: 

  • The malaria prevention programme reduced the occurrence of fatal cases by 70%. The benefits also outweigh the costs in the case of this programme: For each $1 invested, the return was estimated at $1.32.

Laurent Fourier, Director of the International SOS Foundation, spoke to the results of the study, "Over the years we have released many reports on why an organisation has a duty of care – a moral, and at times legal, responsibility – to protect their people working overseas or on assignment. This study proves there are tangible commercial incentives to investing in preventive programmes, in addition to fulfilling an organisations duty of care. Implementing quality, appropriate pre-travel health and malaria programmes can save lives and cut costs. Businesses should not ignore these findings.”

 Marc De Greef, Managing Director of Prevent said, “This latest financial analysis proves there is a return on investment resulting from good preventive health and safety practices when managing mobile employees.  

Companies who invest in the prevention of health risks commonly experience many benefits. These prevention programmes should be essential management practices for a sound business.”

Prevent’s Return on Prevention study can be downloaded here.


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