UK Adds TB Tests to Visa Requirements for Zambians

A lab technologist does florescent microscopy detection of TB in a laboratory in Kisumu, Kenya. Zambians planning to travel to the UK will be subjected to compulsory TB tests before applying for visa. TOM OTIENO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Zambians planning to travel to the United Kingdom for more than six months will be subjected to compulsory Tuberculosis (TB) tests before applying for a visa effective next week, the Post of Zambia reported on Thursday.

“If you apply at the visa application centre in Lusaka on or after 25 June, 2013, you must take a TB test if you are applying to come to the UK for six months or longer,” the paper quoted a UK border agency as saying in a statement.

The statement further noted that for applicants planning to travel to the UK for less than six months, the new rule would not be required to take a TB test unless they were applying for a six month visa.

The new rule on compulsory TB test will also apply to applicants from China, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gambia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malawi, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Vietnam.

According to the statement, the UK has had a longstanding policy of screening new entrants from high incidence tuberculosis countries intending to remain for over six months.

Data by the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) shows that Zambia has the ninth highest TB incidence worldwide- at 433 per 100, 000 people- with particularly high risk of infection in specific sub-groups such as HIV-infected persons, pregnant women, children and prisoners, according to the Post.

– Africa Review