New UK aid support to protect 200 million people from debilitating diseases

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A new UK aid package will help protect 200 million people worldwide from debilitating diseases, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Baroness Sugg has announced today.

Speaking at the Neglected Tropical Disease NGO Network Conference in Liverpool, Baroness Sugg announced that the £220 million will tackle five of the world’s worst Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), which can cause disability, death and disfigurement and trap victims in a cycle of poverty. These are lymphatic filariasis (also known as elephantiasis); onchocerciasis; schistosomiasis; visceral leishmaniasis and trachoma.

These diseases affect over a billion people worldwide, stopping adults from working and children from going to school, and are estimated to cost developing economies billions of pounds every year in lost productivity.

Today’s Department for International Development (DFID) package will deliver 600 million treatments to prevent NTDs as a vital step towards their elimination. It will aim to eliminate visceral leishmaniasis from Asia by 2022. The programme will also help national governments to tackle these diseases themselves in future.

International Development Minister Baroness Sugg said:

These debilitating – but preventable – diseases stop sufferers from working, studying and leading prosperous, healthy lives.

This new UK aid support will stop hundreds of millions of people suffering unnecessarily from treatable conditions. It shows how the UK is helping to lead the way in tack

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