Advice and guidance on the health needs of migrant patients from Benin for healthcare practitioners.
If the patient is new to the UK:
- explain to them how the NHS works and their entitlements to healthcare
- discuss how this compares to the healthcare system they’ve been used to
- follow guidance on how to comprehensively assess new migrant patients
- ensure that they are up-to-date with the UK immunisation schedule
- ask about any travel plans the patient may have to visit friends and relatives in their country of origin
Screen all new entrants, including children, for tuberculosis (TB).
Consider screening for hepatitis B, particularly among those who have recently arrived. Benin has a high prevalence.
Consider screening for hepatitis C because Benin has a considerably higher prevalence than the UK.
There is a high risk of typhoid infection in Benin.
There is a high risk of malaria in Benin.
The prevalence of HTLV is high.
Consider nutritional and metabolic concerns.
- screen all new entrants, including children, for TB according to NICE guidelines
- refer to TB services promptly if screening is positive
- seek advice, if you are a local TB service, from the MDR-TB Clinical Advice Service before treating patients from Benin for TB
- maintain long term vigilance for symptoms of TB even if initial screening is negative
- 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
Benin 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
The prevalence of Human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV) is high. Refer to further HTLV guidance about testing and treatment.
Benin has a high prevalence of hepatitis B, so:
- consider screening for hepatitis B, particularly those who have recently arrived
- 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 universal infant immunisation programme for hepatitis B and a selective immunisation programme for higher risk groups
There is a high risk of malaria in Benin, due to P. falciparum and P. ovale, so:
- test any unwell patient who has travelled to or from affected areas of Benin in the last year
- remember that malaria can be rapidly fatal
There is a high risk of typhoid infection in Benin, so:
- ensure that travellers to Benin 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 Benin
There is a risk of helminth infections in Benin, including:
- lymphatic filariasis
- soil transmitted helminthiasis
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 high risk of anaemia in adults (estimated prevalence in non-pregnant women is >40%) and pre-school children (estimated prevalence is >40%), so:
- be alert to the possibility of anaemia in recently arrived migrants, particularly women and pre-school children
- test as clinically indicated
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
There is a high risk of vitamin A deficiency in Benin.
People from Benin may be at risk of adverse health consequences due to excessive intake of iodine.
Reproductive health indicators
|Reproductive health indicator||UK||Benin|
|Number of children per woman¹||1.7||4.8|
|Use of contraception²||71.7%||15.5%|
¹lifetime average; ²by woman of reproductive age or partner
No data are available on:
- mammography screening rates
- cervical cancer screening rates
Female genital mutilation (FGM)
Healthcare practitioners are advised that FGM has regularly been documented in Benin.
Health indicators and health care
WHO Global Health Observatory has a summary of health indicators and health care in Benin.
Culture, politics and history
The main languages used in Benin are:
- French (official)
- Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south)
- Tribal languages (at least 6 major ones in north)
Source: The World Factbook.
|Other traditional religions||2.6|
¹Celestial 6.7%, Methodist 3.4%, other Protestant 3.4%
Source: The World Factbook.
Migration to the UK
There were almost 600 people from Benin living in England and Wales at the time of the 2011 Census.
Source: Office for National Statistics.