Guidance

Iran: migrant health guide

Advice and guidance on the health needs of migrant patients from Iran 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 Iran has a low 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.

There is a risk of malaria in some areas of Iran.

There is a risk of typhoid infection in Iran.

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 Immunisation collection with complete schedules.

Tuberculosis (TB)

There is a low incidence of TB in Iran (<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

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

Iran has a low rate of HIV (≤1%), so:

  • offer and recommend a 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

Iran has a low prevalence of hepatitis B, so:

  • offer screening for hepatitis B to all pregnant women during each pregnancy

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 risk of malaria in some areas of Iran, mainly due to due to P. falciparum and P. vivax., so:

Typhoid

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

  • ensure that travellers to Iran 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 Iran

Helminths

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

Women’s health

Reproductive health indicators

Reproductive health indicator UK Iran
Number of children per woman¹ 2 2
Use of contraception² 82% 73.8%

¹lifetime average

No data is available on:

  • mammography screening rates
  • cervical cancer screening rates


Find out more about women’s health.

Nutritional and metabolic concerns

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)

Country profile

Health indicators and health care

WHO Global Health Observatory has a summary of health indicators and healthcare in Iran.

Culture, politics and history

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

Languages

Language Population (%)
Persian (official) 53
Azeri Turkic & Turkic dialects 18
Kurdish 10
Gilaki and Mazandarani 7
Luri 2
Balochi 8
Arabic 2
Other 2

Source: The World Factbook


Find out about language interpretation.

Religions

Religion Population (%)¹
Muslim (official)² 99.4
Other³ 0.3
Unspecified 0.4

¹2010 est.²Shia 90-95%, Sunni 5-10%); ³includes Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian

Source: The World Factbook

Migration to the UK

At the time of the 2011 census, there were almost 82,000 people from Iran living in England and Wales. Source: Office for National Statistics.

Published 31 July 2014
Last updated 28 June 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated and made editorial changes to meet GOV.UK style.
  2. First published.