Guidance

Barbados: migrant health guide

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

Main messages

If the patient is new to the UK:

  • explain to them how the NHS works
  • discuss how this compares to the healthcare system they’ve been used to

Ensure that all patients are up-to-date with the UK immunisation schedule.

Determine any risk factors for hepatitis B, that may indicate the need for screening, because Barbados has a low prevalence.

Ask about any travel plans the patient may have to visit friends and relatives in their country of origin, and see National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC), or the Health Protection Scotland websites (TRAVAX and fitfortravel), for travel advice.

There is a risk of typhoid infection in Barbados.

Find out more about children’s health.

Infectious diseases

Immunisation

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

Tuberculosis (TB)

There is a low incidence of TB in Barbados (<40 cases per 100,000), so:

  • routine screening 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 and HIV

Take a sexual history, and:

  • screen for STIs and HIV according to risk as specified in the UK national standards and guidelines
  • test all sexually active patients under the age of 25 for chlamydia

Barbados has a low rate of HIV (≤1%), so

  • offer and recommend an HIV test if the patient:
    • falls into a high risk group
    • is newly registering in a high prevalence area
  • be aware that national guidelines do not recommend routine consideration of HIV testing of infants and children who have recently arrived in the UK

Hepatitis B

Barbados has a low prevalence of hepatitis B, so:

  • offer screening for hepatitis B to all pregnant women during each pregnancy
  • immunise appropriately babies born to mothers who are hepatitis B positive, and follow-up accordingly
  • be aware that the UK has a selective immunisation programme for hepatitis B

Hepatitis C

Barbados has a higher prevalence of hepatitis C than the UK, so consider screening for hepatitis C if other risk factors apply.

Travel plans and advice

Ask about any travel plans the patient may have to visit friends and relatives in their country of origin, and see National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC), or the Health Protection Scotland websites (TRAVAX and fitfortravel), for travel advice.

Typhoid

There is a risk of typhoid infection in Barbados, so:

  • ensure that travellers to Barbados 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 Barbados

Helminths

There is a risk of helminth infections in Barbados, including soil transmitted helminthiasis.

Women’s health

Reproductive health indicators

Reproductive health indicator UK Barbados
Children per woman¹ 2 2

¹lifetime average

No data are available on:

  • contraceptive use
  • mammography screening rates
  • cervical cancer screening rates


Find out more about women’s health.

Nutritional and metabolic concerns

Anaemia

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:

  • consider this possibility in recently arrived migrants, particularly for 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:

  • covering their body for cultural or religious reasons (lack of sunlight)
  • skin colour
  • diet (vegan or vegetarian)

Vitamin A

There may be a risk of vitamin A deficiency in Barbados.

Country profile

Health indicators and health care

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

Culture, politics and history

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

Languages

The main languages used in Barbados are:

  • English (official)
  • Bajan (English-based creole language, widely spoken in informal settings)

Source: The World Factbook.


Find out about language interpretation.

Religions

Religion Population (%)¹
Protestant² 66.3
None 20.6
Other Christian³ 5.4
Roman Catholic 3.8
Other 1.5
Unspecified 1.2
Rastafarian 1

¹2010 est. ²includes: Anglican 23.9%, other Pentecostal 19.5%, Adventist 5.9%, Methodist 4.2%, Wesleyan 3.4%, Nazarene 3.2%, Church of God 2.4%, Baptist 1.8%, Moravian 1.2%, other Protestant 0.8% ³includes: Jehovah’s Witness 2.0%, other 3.4%

Source: The World Factbook.

Migration to the UK

There were almost 19,000 people from Barbados living in England and Wales at the time of the 2011 Census.

Source: Office for National Statistics © Crown Copyright 2014.

Published 31 July 2014
Last updated 7 April 2016 + show all updates
  1. Updated advice on screening for hep B and anaemia, based on current prevalence in Barbados.
  2. First published.