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Combatting Tuberculosis in the Workplace: International SOS Shares Key Actions for Businesses

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--#businesstravel--In the lead-up to World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on 24 March, International SOS, the world's leading health and security risk services company, highlights the importance of safeguarding employees from TB.

Globally, TB remains a significant public health concern. According to a global report by the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 10.6 million people developed TB in 2022, marking an increase from 10 million and 10.3 million cases estimated in 2020 and 2021, respectively.1 This upward trend underscores the critical need for increased vigilance and proactive measures to protect workforces and control the spread of TB, particularly in high-risk regions.

While TB occurs worldwide, South-East Asia experiences the highest burden.2 International SOS data further highlights this, reporting a consistent trend over the past four years of TB-related cases in Asia, particularly in Indonesia and Vietnam. Organisations with operations in these regions should prioritise TB awareness and prevention efforts for their employees.

Furthermore, it is reported that around 30% of TB cases go undiagnosed, due to missed health screenings and diagnostics, hindering timely intervention and potentially contributing to community transmission.3

Dr Kate O’Reilly, Regional Medical Director, comments “The risk of TB transmission is generally low, however, obtaining expert advice and contacts screening is crucial. If an employee is suspected of having TB organisations should provide contact with appropriate health providers and advise they seek prompt medical advice.

“Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for successful TB management and help control the spread of the disease. Internal outreach and campaigns that focus on information around how TB is spread, what symptoms to look out for as well as how to access diagnosis and treatment are critical. These initiatives can be further supported by assessing and understanding the level of risk exposure, as well as implementing risk mitigation strategies.”

While the risk of TB transmission is generally low, it's vital to take precautions. International SOS offers the following key actions organisations can take to help end the TB epidemic:

  1. Awareness campaign: Raise awareness and educate employees about TB symptoms, transmission and prevention measures.
  2. Risk assessment: Organisations should perform a risk assessment for employees working with individuals at an increased risk of TB infection.
  3. Promote TB screening: Encourage employees, particularly those in high-risk categories, to undergo TB screening.
  4. Support access to treatment: Ensure employees have access to appropriate medical care and treatment for TB, including addressing potential financial barriers. This is especially crucial in resource-limited settings.
  5. Workplace health and safety: Implement robust workplace health and safety measures to minimise the risk of TB transmission, considering potential regional risk factors.
  6. Advocate for change: Support policies that promote access to TB prevention, diagnosis and treatment globally, with a focus on areas with high TB burden like Southeast Asia.

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 9,500 organisations, including the majority of the Fortune Global 500 as well as mid-size enterprises, governments, educational institutions, and NGOs. 13,000 multi-cultural security, medical, logistics and digital experts stand by you to provide support & assistance from over 1,000 locations in 90 countries, 24/7, 365 days.

To protect your workforce, we are at your fingertips: www.internationalsos.com

1. World Health Organization (WHO) | Global Tuberculosis Report 2023

2. International SOS Assistance Tracker Data (2020-2024)

3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Global TB Overview



Indira Illianti
Group Senior Marketing and PR Executive, International SOS

[email protected]

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