TB Screening for Indians, South Africans applying for UK Visas

Immigration Minister Damian Green yesterday announced that a Tuberculosis Screening Programme will be rolled out in 3 stages over 18 months, starting in July this year.

Under the Programme, anyone coming to the UK for more than six months from any of the 67 countries identified by the World Health Organisation as having a high incidence of TB will be screened for the deadly airborne infection.

The programme is being launched after research showed that non-UK born people accounted for 3/4 of all new TB cases diagnosed in the UK. Countries identified include India, Nepal China, Morocco, and South Africa and infectious TB sufferers and those diagnosed with active TB will be denied visas.

According to Green, TB is at its highest level in the UK for more than 30 years, with 9 000 new cases reported last year alone.

“Pre-entry screening, followed by treatment where necessary, will help to prevent the risk of TB in the UK and will also save lives.”

“Removing screening facilities at airports will save the taxpayer £25 million over 10 years and further NHS savings will be made by preventing the importation and spread of TB in the UK.”

Countries identified by the World Health Organisation as having a high incidence of TB

Afghanistan Guinea-Bissau Nepal
Angola Guyana Nigeria
Bhutan Haiti Papua New Guinea
Bolivia India Peru
Botswana Indonesia Philippines
Burma Kazakhstan Russian Federation
Burundi Kiribati Rwanda
Cameroon Korea Dem People Rep Sao Tome & Principe
Cape Verdi Korea Republic of Senegal
Central African Rep Kyrgyzstan Sierra leone
Chad Lesotho Solomon Islands
China Liberia South Africa
China. Hong Kong SAR Madagascar Suriname
China, Macau SAR Malawi Swaziland
Congo, The Rep Malaysia Tajiskistan
Congo Dem Rep Mali Timorleste
Djibouti Mauritania Tuvalu
Ecuador Micronesia Uganda
Equatorial Guinea Moldova Ukraine
Ethiopia Mongolia Uzbekistan
Gabon Morocco Vietnam
Gambia Mozambique Zambia
Guinea Namibia Zimbabwe