News Release

2016

Aon WorldAware Issues Travel Warning as Angola Faces an Outbreak of Yellow Fever

Aon South Africa has issued travel warnings to its clients via its WorldAware operations centre regarding an outbreak of Yellow Fever in Angola. Reported Yellow Fever deaths have risen to 50, with more than 241 recorded infections at present.

According to the Director of Public Health in Angola, Adelaide de Carvalho, the disease has extended from Maianga, Samba, Sambizanga, Fine, Cazenga and Viana to several neighbourhoods in Luanda, Huila, Huambo and Kwanza Sul. The epicentre of the outbreak is considered to be Luanda's Eastern suburb of Viana where there have already been 92 confirmed cases and 29 deaths.

The Angolan Government has launched a vaccination campaign targeting at least 1.5 million children, of which only 450,000 people have been vaccinated to date. Increased awareness and educational campaigns have also been launched across the affected areas.

Government officials have also noted that Angola has experienced a sharp increase in malaria, cholera, and chronic diarrhoea cases in recent weeks.

Andre Van Tonder from Aon Sub Sahara Africa's Crisis Management Team advises travellers that the presence of Yellow Fever is consistently prevalent in Angola. "The viral disease is transmitted by mosquito bites. Symptoms range from a mild flu-like illness to severe haemorrhagic fever with liver failure. Yellow Fever is prevented by vaccination, and prevention of mosquito bites," Andre explains.

"Currently, proof of immunisation for all travellers that are greater than nine months of age is required for entry to Angola. Additionally, travellers departing Angola may be needed to show a current yellow fever vaccination to gain entry. All travellers are advised to utilise an effective insect repellent that contains DEET, Picaridin, PMD or IR3535. Extra clothing, long pants and sleeves are suggested when the weather permits," says Andre.

Aon's WorldAware Operations Centre in Johannesburg supports its principle WorldAware Operations Centre in Chicago. "The aim is to supply Aon WorldAware clients with more regional specific information around Sub-Saharan African countries in addition to conducting risk assessments and travel risk related research and analysis," Andre explains.

The risks that travelling employees face is growing in frequency and magnitude and includes:

  • Health and safety risks
  • Unpredictable natural disasters such as floods, fires and earthquakes
  • Violent crime due to increasing social and economic divisions within countries
  • Terrorism and political violence

"Organisations have a duty of care to safeguard their travelling employees. This includes monitoring country threat levels, preparing personnel prior to travel, being able to locate travellers and having procedures in place to react to travel related incidents, from the routine to the extraordinary," explains Andre.

"When a travelling employee is in crisis, how quickly and effectively the company reacts is critical – whether it's a kidnapping, a sudden unexpected and serious illness or a natural disaster. It can mean the difference between recovering and not at all for both the employee and company," concludes Andre.

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