VOL. NO: 49      DATE:
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Migrant health challenge


Most immigrants to Britain pose no threat to the health of the general population - although they are prone to infectious diseases, a report said yesterday. The first report on migrant health says most migrants are clear of infectious diseases. 

The Health Protection Agency report says most cases of TB, HIV and malaria infection in the UK affect immigrants but adds: "It is important to remember that most migrants are healthy young adults who have come to the UK mainly to work or study."

According to figures from 2004, 70 per cent of cases of these three diseases affect people born outside the UK.

The report says those most at risk of contracting the diseases from those affected are other migrants. 

And because they tend to travel back to countries with high infection rates, they face additional peril. Professor Pat Troop, HPA chief executive, said: "It is important to establish health profiles for every section of the community. 

"For the first time, the Health Protection Agency has brought together data from a range of sources on a number of diseases which will enable health professionals to gain a clear picture of migrant health. 

"This will play a vital role in the planning and provision of health services. Many organisations will be involved in taking forward the report's recommendations and we will work closely with our partners, particularly within the NHS, to determine the best public health response."


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