Immigrants, Ethnic Minorities & Infectious Disease


Immigration is the hottest topic of the day, not only because of its relevance (think migrant crisis/US-Mexico border incursions) but also because of its unfortunate ability to act as a catalyst for other negative forces within our societies. The most obvious of these is terrorism, as we have seen over the last year in Paris, Brussels, Munich and now Berlin, where migrants from the third world have decided to repay the hospitality of European nations by murdering innocent people. This of course is the most tangible, the most visible knock-on effect of mass migration, but there are others too which are equally as distasteful, for instance the rape and assault of European women at the hands of migrant men. We have seen this most notably in Germany, but also in the UK in recent years with the Rotherham child rape gangs being the most famous instance in which all the victims were native English girls, whilst all the perpetrators were men of a non-European migratory background.

However, another negative impact of migration which is often ignored, perhaps for fear of breaking the politically correct code of conduct, is the relationship between infectious disease and the immigrant population. It is often a soundbite used by the media to portray anti-immigration campaigners as intolerant racists, but it is the truth that migrants are bringing disease. It is, based on the raw date, an undeniable truth that third world migrants are much more likely to carry and spread disease than their native British/European counterparts. There are a variety of reasons for this: the tendency to overcrowd living spaces, the prevalence of said diseases in the migrant’s country of origin, general lack of hygiene and cultural practises.

Migration Watch have done some good work in terms of collating data relating to the prevalence of HIV/AIDS amongst immigrant populations as they made the case for HIV-screening for potential immigrants to the UK. They found that in 2002, three-quarters of the 3,152 heterosexually acquired HIV infections newly diagnosed in the UK were acquired in Africa. Furthermore, in the same year they found that out of all HIV-infected heterosexuals seen for care in 2002, 66% were black-African, a 330% increase (to 8,262) since 1997. Aside from the obvious health risk to the public, Migration Watch also found that the cost to the NHS of treating HIV cases of African origin is upwards of £1bn per year. What is worse however, is the fact that of the 275 cases of UK-origin HIV in 2002, ‘the majority of these were transmitted via a partner originating outside Europe’, which essentially translates to immigrant men passing HIV onto native British women.

Furthermore, Migration Watch finds that out of women in the UK giving birth with HIV, 70% are in London whilst 77% of these cases are from women originating in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Cost of Treatment to the NHS:

According to the National Association of NHS Providers of AIDS care and Treatment (PACT), the cost of managing a patient with HIV is £15,000 per year. The total cost of treatment and care in 2002-03 will be £345 million [9] . It is estimated that the average lifetime treatment cost for an HIV-positive person is between £135,000 and £181,000 [10] . From 1998-2002 there were 7,706 diagnoses in the UK of HIV thought to have been heterosexually acquired in Africa. On the Department of Health’s cost estimates, the cost of treating just this one group will be between £1.04 billion and £1.39 billion

Of course, HIV/AIDS is not the only infectious disease that comes with migration. It is no coincidence that London accounts for over half of the UK’s annual new Tuberculosis infections and is also the most ‘ethnically diverse’ city in our country. A study published by London Assembly Health Committee (LAHC) found that in 2014, there were over 2,500 new cases of tuberculosis in London. Infection rates in one out of every three London boroughs breaches the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ‘high incidence’ threshold (40 cases per 100,000 inhabitants) and that five London areas (Hounslow, Brent, Harrow, Newham and Ealing) had over 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. This paints a dire picture indeed when we note these figures in comparison to those of 3rd world nations such as Rwanda (69 per 100,000), Iraq (45) and Eritrea (92). Across the UK, the average is 13 cases in every 100,000 inhabitants.

Finally (and most crucially), the LAHC report found that over 80% of London’s 2,500 new cases of TB in 2014 were people that were born abroad (primarily Indians, Pakistanis and Somalis). Dr. Sahota, the chair of the committee, states that ‘London is the TB capital of Western Europe’, and that ‘there is a clear link between TB infection and migration but it is a complex story that is easy to misinterpret’. Well, it is not so complex in reality, but one might hypothesise that a Dr. Onkar Sahota may have his own motivations for adding a qualification to these findings.

The statistics become even more frightening when we consider other diseases. With Hepatitis B Virus for example, the prevelence of chronic HBV infection is estimated to be 0.4% of the population (180,000), but a government report concluded that over 95% of new cases each year occur within people of a migratory background who acquired the infection in their country of birth. Malaria is also an issue with immigration as the Oxford Journal for Public Health reported in 2013, with 70-88% of new Malaria cases in the UK each year found in migrants. The report also found that 65% of Enteric Fever cases between 2007 and 2010 occurred in immigrants who had acquired the disease in their country of birth.

Similarly, diseases previously thought to be ‘extinct’ in Europe such as Polio are likely to return thanks to migration. The WHO declared Europe ‘Polio free’ in 2002, but the current ‘migration crisis’ originating out of the Middle-East will most likely bring the disease back to the continent, as 2 German subject experts warned recently. This is because the only places in the world where Polio is still an issue are Pakistan, Syria, Somlia and Afghanistan, nations that are the source of mass migration to Europe and consequently Great Britain at the moment.

If current migration policies continue, or rather if they are not totally reversed, we are putting an entire generation and generations of British people to come at risk of experiencing a future in which good health is a luxury as opposed to the norm. These reckless policies are bringing a much greater prevalence of HIV, TB and Hepatitis (amongst other diseases) to our shores that have never been known to our indigenous populations. The worst aspect of these findings is that they are never properly conveyed to the public, therefore we are never able to have a truly informed debate on immigration and its surrounding issues. One suspects this is because the establishment politicians are intent on bringing migrants to our nation come-what-may, so any information that may harden public opinion against said migrants will be suppressed at all costs.

This is a sorry state of affairs, as are many areas of government policy in this day and age. It is about time we got educated on the issues such as these affecting us and did something to halt this madness.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s