Guidance

Cape Verde: migrant health guide

Advice and guidance on the health needs of migrant patients from Cape Verde 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.

Screen all new entrants, including children, for tuberculosis (TB).

Consider screening for hepatitis B, particularly among those who have recently arrived. Cape Verde has an intermediate prevalence.

Ask opportunistically 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.

Be advised that there is a risk of typhoid infection in Cape Verde.

Infectious diseases

Immunisation

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

Tuberculosis

There is a high incidence of TB in Cape Verde (40 to 499 cases per 100,000), so:

  • screen all new entrants (including children) for TB according to NICE guidelines
  • refer to TB services promptly if screening is positive
  • 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

Cape Verde has a low rate of HIV, 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 advised that national guidelines do not recommend routine consideration of HIV testing of infants and children who have recently arrived in the UK.

Hepatitis B

Cape Verde has an intermediate 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 selective immunisation programme for hepatitis B

Travel plans and advice

Ask opportunistically 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.

Malaria

There is a very low risk of malaria in Cape Verde, mainly due to P. falciparum, so:

Typhoid

There is a risk of typhoid infection in Cape Verde, so:

  • ensure that travellers to Cape Verde 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 Cape Verde

Helminths

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

Women’s health

Reproductive health indicators

Reproductive health indicator UK Cape Verde
Number of children per woman¹ 2 4

¹lifetime average

No data are available on:

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

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 a high risk in 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

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 is a high risk of vitamin A deficiency in Cape Verde.

Iodine

People from Cape Verde may be at risk of mild iodine deficiency due to inadequate intake

Country profile

Health indicators and health care

WHO Global Health Observatory provides a summary of health indicators and health care in Cape Verde.

Culture, politics and history

BBC News and The World Factbook have background information on the culture, politics and history of Cape Verde.

Languages

The main languages used in Cape Verde are:

  • Portuguese (official)
  • Crioulo (a blend of Portuguese and West African words)

Source: The World Factbook

Religions

Religion Population (%)
Roman Catholic 77.3
None 10.8
Other Christian¹ 4.3
Protestant² 3.7
Muslim 1.8
Other 1.3
Unspecified 0.7

¹includes Christian Rationalism 1.9%, Jehovah’s Witness 1%, Assembly of God 0.9%, and New Apostolic 0.5%; ²includes Church of the Nazarene 1.7%, Adventist 1.5%, Universal Kingdom of God 0.4%, and God and Love 0.1%

Source: The World Factbook

Migration to the UK

There were over 1,000 people from Cape Verde living in England and Wales at the time of the 2011 Census.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Published 31 July 2014
Last updated 27 July 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated HIV guidance with latest (2016) UNAIDS data.
  2. First published.