Bahamas, The: migrant health guide

Advice and guidance on the health needs of migrant patients from The Bahamas for healthcare practitioners.

Main messages

If the patient is new to the UK:

Offer and recommend an HIV test to all adults from The Bahamas, and consider offering an HIV test to infants and children who have recently arrived in the UK.

Offer to all sexually active individuals:

  • a full sexual health screen
  • safer sex health promotion advice

There is a risk of typhoid infection in The Bahamas.

Consider nutritional and metabolic concerns.

Infectious diseases


Ensure that all patients, especially children, are up-to-date with the UK immunisation schedule. See Immunisation collection with complete schedules.

Tuberculosis (TB)

There is a low incidence of TB in The Bahamas (<40 cases/100,000), so:

  • routine screening for TB is not required
  • consider testing in patients (including children) who show signs and symptoms
  • be aware that TB is a notifiable disease

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV

There is a high rate of HIV in The Bahamas (>1%), so:

Be advised that although recent global data on STIs is not available, countries with high HIV rates tend to have higher rates of STIs, and the range of STIs encountered in The Bahamas may vary from those in the UK, so offer to sexually active individuals:

  • a full sexual health screen
  • safer sex health promotion advice by referral to local genito-urinary medicine services


There is a risk of typhoid infection in The Bahamas, so:

  • ensure that travellers to The Bahamas are offered typhoid immunisation and advice on prevention of enteric fever
  • remember enteric fever in the differential diagnosis of illness in patients with a recent history of travel to or from The Bahamas

Travel plans and advice

Ask opportunistically about any travel plans the patient may have to visit friends and relatives in their country of origin. People who travel to visit friends and relatives (VFR travellers) should visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for overseas travel advice and National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) for country specific travel advice prior to leaving the UK.

Nutritional and metabolic concerns


There is a moderate risk of anaemia in adults (estimated prevalence in non-pregnant women is 20 to 40%) and pre-school children (estimated prevalence is 20 to 40%), so:

  • be alert to the possibility of anaemia in recently arrived migrants, particularly women and pre-school children
  • test as clinically indicated

Vitamin D

Consider the possibility of vitamin D deficiency in people who may be at risk due to:

  • darker skin
  • those who are not often outdoors
  • those who cover up most of their skin when outdoors

Women’s health

Reproductive health indicators

Reproductive health indicator UK The Bahamas
Number of children per woman¹ 1.7 1.7
Use of contraception² 71.7% 62%

¹lifetime average; ²by woman of reproductive age or partner

No data is available on:

  • mammography screening rates
  • cervical cancer screening rates

Country profile

Health indicators and health care

WHO Global Health Observatory has a summary of health indicators and health care in The Bahamas.

Culture, politics and history

BBC News and The World Factbook provide background information on the culture, politics and history of The Bahamas.


The main languages used in The Bahamas are:

  • English (official)
  • Creole (among Haitian immigrants)

Source: The World Factbook


Religion Population (%)¹
Protestant² 69.9
Other Christian³ 13
Roman Catholic 12
Unspecified 2.6
None 1.9
Other 0.6

¹2010 est. ²includes Baptist 34.9%, Anglican 13.7%, Pentecostal 8.9% Seventh Day Adventist 4.4%, Methodist 3.6%, Church of God 1.9%, Brethren 1.6%; ³includes Jehovah’s Witness 1.1%

Source: The World Factbook

Migration to the UK

There were almost 2,000 people from The Bahamas living in the UK at the time of the 2011 Census.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Published 30 July 2014
Last updated 21 July 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated country guidance on prevalence of communicable diseases and other health topics.

  2. First published.