Guidance

Lebanon: migrant health guide

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

Identify any risk factors for hepatitis B infection that may indicate the need for screening, because Lebanon 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 Lebanon.

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

There is a low incidence of TB in Lebanon (<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 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

Lebanon 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

Lebanon 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

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 Lebanon, so:

  • ensure that travellers to Lebanon 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 Lebanon

Women’s health

Reproductive health indicators

Reproductive health indicator UK Lebanon
Number of children per woman¹ 2 2

¹lifetime average

No data is 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:

  • 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 Lebanon.

Iodine

People from Lebanon may be at risk of mild iodine deficiency due to inadequate intake.

Country profile

Health indicators and health care

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

Culture, politics and history

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

Languages

The main languages used in Lebanon are:

  • Arabic (official)
  • French
  • English
  • Armenian

Source: The World Factbook


Find out about language interpretation.

Religions

Religion Population (%)
Muslim¹ 54
Christian² 40.5
Druze 5.6

¹Sunni 27% , Shia 27%; ²includes: Maronite Catholic 21%, Greek Orthodox 8%, Greek Catholic 5%, other Christian 6.5%

Source: The World Factbook

Migration to the UK

There were almost 16,000 people from Lebanon living in the UK at the time of the 2011 Census.

Published 31 July 2014
Last updated 26 October 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated and made editorial changes to meet GOV.UK style.
  2. First published.