Guidance

Tanzania: migrant health guide

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

Offer and recommend an HIV test to all adults from Tanzania, and consider offering an HIV test to infants and children who have recently arrived in the UK.

Offer to all sexually active individuals:

  • a full sexual health screen
  • safer sex health promotion advice

Consider screening for hepatitis B, particularly among those who have recently arrived, because Tanzania has an intermediate 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.

In Tanzania, there is a a risk of typhoid infection and, in some areas, a high risk of malaria.

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 high incidence of TB in Tanzania (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

There is a high rate of HIV in Tanzania (>1%), so:

Although recent global data on STIs are not available, countries with high HIV rates tend to have higher rates of STIs, and the range of STIs encountered in Tanzania may vary from those in the UK, so offer to sexually active individuals:

  • a full sexual health screen
  • safer sex health promotion advice by referral to local genito-urinary medicine services

Hepatitis B

Tanzania 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.

Hepatitis C

Tanzania has a 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.

Malaria

There is a high risk of malaria in Tanzania, mainly due to P. falciparum, so:

Typhoid

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

  • ensure that travellers to Tanzania 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 Tanzania

Helminths

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

  • schistosomiasis
  • lymphatic filariasis
  • soil transmitted helminthiasis

Women’s health

Reproductive health indicators

Reproductive health indicator UK Tanzania
Number of children per woman¹ 2 5
Use of contraception² 82% 26.4%

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

No data are available on:

  • mammography screening rates
  • cervical cancer screening rates

Female genital mutilation (FGM)

Healthcare practitioners are advised that FGM has regularly been documented in Tanzania.


Find out more about women’s health.

Nutritional and metabolic concerns

Anaemia

There is a high risk of anaemia in adults (estimated prevalence in non-pregnant women is >40%) and 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 Tanzania.

Country profile

Health indicators and health care

See WHO Global Health Observatory for a summary of health indicators and health care in Tanzania.

Culture, politics and history

See BBC News and The World Factbook for background information on the culture, politics and history of Tanzania.

Languages

The main languages used in Tanzania are:

  • Kiswahili or Swahili (official)
  • Kiunguja (name for Swahili in Zanzibar)
  • English (official, primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education)
  • Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar)
  • many local languages

Source: The World Factbook


Find out about language interpretation.

Religions

Religion Population (%)¹
Muslim 35
Indigenous beliefs 35
Christian 30

¹mainland Tanzania: Zanzibar is more than 99% Muslim

Source: The World Factbook

Migration to the UK

At the time of the 2011 census there were over 35,000 people from Tanzania living in England and Wales.

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.