HPA develops online migrant health guide

The Health Protection Agency has called on nurses and other primary care practitioners to recognise migrants, who may be at danger from infectious disease.



The HPA has alos developed an online Migrant Health Guide, which was launched in January 2011

The Health Protection Agency published its second report on migrant health, which has brought together infectious disease surveillance information with a focus on non-UK born populations. It is based on examination between 2005 and 2010.

It shows a small percentage of the non-UK born residents’ bear the onus of infectious disease reported in the UK.

Dr Jane Jones, consultant epidemiologist and head of the travel and migrant health section at the HPA, said that Primary care practitioners in particular played an important role in identifying people at risk and ensuring appropriate management.

The report published in Nursing asserted for example, in 2010, 73% of TB cases reported in the UK, almost 60% of newly diagnosed cases of HIV, and 80% of hepatitis B infected UK blood donors were born abroad, the report said.

The report also mentioned 77% of non-UK born TB cases in 2010 were diagnosed two or more years after arrival in the UK. Half of non-UK born men who have sex with men with a newly diagnosed HIV infection between 2001 and 2010 had probably acquired their infection within the UK. 

In addition, UK residents travelling to visit friends and relatives in their country of origin are the main risk group for some travel-associated infections diagnosed in the UK such as malaria and enteric fever.

The report also highlighted 61% of malaria cases reported in the UK in 2010 and 87% of enteric fever cases in England, Wales and Northern Ireland were in non-UK born residents who travelled abroad to visit friends and relatives.

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