During the course of 2017, Cyprus took in approximately 1,200 migrants and refugees, of which 60 tested positive for Hepatitis B and C, while two were diagnosed with Thalassaemia type beta.
The figures were cited by health minister, Constantinos Ioannou, on Monday during a press conference titled ‘Migratory flows in Europe and Thalassaemia – the Thalia Project’.
Speaking more broadly about migration to Europe, the minister said that migrants’ medical profiles are unknown and epidemiological data are inadequate.
Nevertheless, he added, it has been noted that the prevalence of Hepatitis B is high in groups of migrants and refugees hailing mainly from Asia, the Middle East and Arab countries.
Due to the increased migratory flows across Europe, Ioannou said, national governments as well as international health organisations are taking steps and promoting programmes to deal with communicable diseases which could pose public health risks.