Advice and guidance on the health needs of migrant patients from Venezuela for healthcare practitioners.
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.
Screen all new entrants (including children) for tuberculosis (TB).
Ascertain any risk factors for hepatitis B infection that may indicate the need for screening, because Venezuela 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 high risk of malaria in Venezuela.
There is a risk of typhoid infection in Venezuela.
Be alert for possible cases of Chagas disease, and refer as appropriate, because there is a risk of chronic Chagas disease in migrants from Venezuela.
Consider nutritional and metabolic concerns.
Find out more about children’s health.
There is a high incidence of TB in Venezuela (40 to 499 cases/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
Venezuela 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 universal infant immunisation programme for hepatitis B and a selective immunisation programme for higher risk groups
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.
There is a high risk of malaria in Venezuela, mainly due to P. falciparum and P. vivax, so:
- test any unwell patient who has travelled to-and-from affected areas of Venezuela in the last year
- remember that malaria can be rapidly fatal
There is a risk of typhoid infection in Venezuela, so:
- ensure that travellers to Venezuela 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 Venezuela
There is a risk of helminth infections in Venezuela, including:
- soil transmitted helminthiasis
There is a risk of chronic Chagas disease in migrants from Venezuela, so:
- be alert for possible cases
- refer as appropriate
Reproductive health indicators
|Reproductive health indicator||UK||Venezuela|
|Number of children per woman¹||2||3|
No data are available on:
- contraceptive use
- mammography screening rates
- cervical cancer screening rates
Nutritional and metabolic concerns
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
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)
People from Venezuela may be at risk of iodine induced hyperthyroidism due to excessive intake.
Health indicators and health care
WHO Global Health Observatory has a summary of health indicators and health care in Venezuela.
Culture, politics and history
The main languages used in Venezuela are:
- Spanish (official)
- numerous indigenous dialects
Source: The World Factbook.
|nominally Roman Catholic||96|
Source: The World Factbook.
Migration to the UK
There were over 8,000 people from Venezuela living in England and Wales at the time of the 2011 Census.
Source: Office for National Statistics.