Guidance

Slovakia: migrant health guide

Advice and guidance on the health needs of migrant patients from Slovakia 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 Slovakia 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 typhoid infection in Slovakia .

Infectious diseases

Immunisation

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

Tuberculosis

There is a low incidence of TB in Slovakia (<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

Slovakia 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 C

Slovakia has the same or lower prevalence of hepatitis C than the UK, so ascertain any risk factors for HCV infection that may indicate the need for screening.

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.

Typhoid

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

  • ensure that travellers to Slovakia 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 Slovakia

Women’s health

Reproductive health indicators

Reproductive health indicator UK Slovakia
Number of children per woman¹ 2 1
Breast examination or mammography² 75% 46%
Cervical cancer screening³ 70% 59%

¹lifetime average; ²women aged 50 to 69 years; ³women aged 20 to 69 years

No data is available on:

  • contraceptive use

Nutritional and metabolic concerns

Anaemia

There is a moderate risk of anaemia in people from Slovakia (estimated prevalence in non-pregnant women 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 may be a risk of vitamin A deficiency in Slovakia.

Country profile

Health indicators and health care

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

Culture, politics and history

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

Languages

Language Population (%)
Slovak (official) 78.6
Hungarian 9.4
Roma 2.3
Ruthenian 1
Other or unspecified 8.8

Source: The World Factbook

Religions

Religion Population (%)
Roman Catholic 62
Protestant 8.2
Greek Catholic 3.8
Other or unspecified 12.5
None 13.4

Source: The World Factbook

Migration to the UK

There were almost 58,000 people from Slovakia living in England and Wales at the time of the 2011 Census.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Published 31 July 2014