Guidance

Egypt: migrant health guide

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

Ascertain any risk factors for hepatitis B infection that may indicate the need for screening, because Egypt has a low prevalence.

Consider screening for hepatitis C, because Egypt has a considerably higher prevalence than the UK.

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 Egypt.

Be aware that female genital mutilation (FGM) has been estimated to affect more than 80% of women and girls in Egypt.

Find out more about children’s health.

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 low incidence of TB in Egypt (<40 cases/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

Egypt 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 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

Egypt has a low 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

Hepatitis C

Egypt has a considerably 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 Egypt, so:

  • ensure that travellers to Egypt 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 Egypt

Helminths

There is a risk of helminth infections in Egypt, including:

  • schistosomiasis
  • lymphatic filariasis
  • soil transmitted helminthiasis

Women’s health

Reproductive health indicators

Reproductive health indicator UK Egypt
Number of children per woman¹ 2 3
Use of contraception² 82% 59.2%

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

No data are available on:

  • mammography screening rates
  • cervical cancer screening rates

Female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation (FGM) has been estimated to affect more than 80% of women and girls in Egypt, so be advised that:

  • children born in the UK may be at risk of FGM during visits to friends and relatives in Egypt
  • it is illegal to take girls who are British nationals or permanent residents of the UK abroad for FGM, whether or not it is lawful in Egypt

If you are concerned that a British citizen may be taken overseas for the purpose of FGM, please call the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 020 7008 1500 or email fgm@fco.gov.uk.


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 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 Egypt.

Country profile

Health indicators and health care

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

Culture, politics and history

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

Languages

The main languages used in Egypt are:

  • Arabic (official)
  • English
  • French (widely understood by educated classes)

Source: The World Factbook


Find out about language interpretation.

Religions

Religion Population (%)¹
Muslim² 90
Christian³ 10

¹2012 est. ²predominantly Sunni; ³majority Coptic Orthodox: other Christians include Armenian Apostolic, Catholic, Maronite, Orthodox, and Anglican

Source: The World Factbook

Migration to the UK

At the time of the 2011 census there were almost 30,000 people from Egypt living in England and Wales.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Published 31 July 2014
Last updated 27 October 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated and made editorial changes to meet GOV.UK style.
  2. First published.