Nigerians travelling to the United Kingdom (UK) will require pre-entry tuberculosis screening with effect from 2013, the spokesman of the British High Commission, Mr Hooman Nouruzi, has said.
Nouruzi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja that the policy affected 67 countries listed as `tuberculosis endemic’ by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
He said that under the new scheme, travellers to the UK would be tested for tuberculosis as part of the visa procedure.
“The UK Border Agency carries out pre-entry screening for TB for non-EEA migrants who are resident in 15 countries entering the UK for six months or more.
“We are proposing to extend pre-entry screening of applicants to an additional 67 countries, which have been identified using WHO data, as having a high incidence of TB,’’ Nouruzi said.
NAN reports that the 15 nations currently being screened for TB include Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Niger, Kenya, Eritrea, Somalia, Pakistan, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand and Laos.
Although Nouruzi was not definite on when in 2013 they will start screening Nigerians travelling to the UK, he said some hospitals would be designated for the exercise.
“We will implement the changes in phases and complete the roll out to all on the WHO high incidence list by the end of 2013,’’ he said.
NAN reports that no fewer than 10,000 UK visas are issued monthly in Nigeria, a figure which rises during the summer months of June, July and August. (NAN)