Sierra Leone children's health

Key messages for primary care practitioners

  • See general children's health page for overall recommendations and resources.
  • Ensure all children are up to date with the UK schedule of immunisation.
  • This country has very high rates of TB - all children who have recently arrived in the UK should be screened for TB.
  • There is a high rate of HIV in this country. Consider offering an HIV test to infants and children who have recently arrived in the UK.
  • There is a high risk of malaria in this country.
  • Ask opportunistically about any travel plans that the patient may have to visit friends and relatives in their country of origin and arrange for appropriate travel advice - see NaTHNaC.
  • Anaemia is very common in pre-school children in this country. Be alert to this possibility in recently arrived migrants and test as clinically indicated.
  • Female genital mutilation has been estimated to affect more than 80% of women and girls in this country.

 

 

Infectious diseases

Please see infectious diseases page for this country for risks that apply to both adults and children and to which you should be alert.

TB

  • There is a very high rate of tuberculosis in this country (>500/100,000).
  • Screen children for TB according to NICE guidelines [external link].
  • TB is a notifiable disease.
  • Please see TB page for further information.

HIV

  • The rate of HIV in this country is >1%.
  • Consider offering an HIV test to infants and children who have recently arrived in the UK (see UK national testing guidelines).
  • Please see HIV page for further information.

Malaria

  • There is a high risk of malaria in this country predominantly due to P. falciparum.
  • Malaria can be rapidly fatal. Any unwell patient with a history of arrival from or a visit to this country in the last year must be tested for malaria.
  • Please see malaria page for further information.

 

Other health Concerns

Please see nutritional/metabolic concerns page for this country for risks that apply to both adults and children and to which you should be alert. Please see other health concerns for general information.

Anaemia

  • The estimated prevalence of anaemia in pre-school children in this country is >40%.
  • Be alert to this possibility in recently arrived migrants and test as clinically indicated.
  • Please see anaemia page for further information.

Female genital mutilation

  • FGM has been estimated to affect more than 80% of women and girls in this country.
  • Children born in the UK may be at risk of FGM during visits to friends and relatives in this country. It is illegal to take girls who are British nationals or permanent residents of the UK abroad for FGM whether or not it is lawful in that country. If you are concerned that a British citizen may be taken overseas for the purpose of FGM please call the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 0207 008 1500 or email fgm@fco.gov.uk
  • Please see female genital mutilation page for further information.

General paediatric information

For access to data on paediatric indicators for this country please see the WHO Global Health Observatory.

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