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DFID announces funding for neglected tropical diseases

UK to protect 200 million people from tropical diseases

The UK will protect over 200 million people from the pain and disfigurement caused by treatable tropical diseases, International Development Secretary Priti Patel announced on 16 April.

Neglected Tropical Diseases, such as trachoma, Guinea worm and river blindness, are avoidable infections but can deform, disable, blind and even kill if left untreated.  They affect over a billion people in the poorest and most marginalised communities in the world, stopping children going to school and parents going to work - costing developing economies billions of dollars every year in lost productivity and reducing overall global prosperity.

Britain is already leading the way in fighting these diseases, and will more than double its support over the next five years. This will mean a billion treatments for people at risk in the developing world as part of an international push to eliminate and eradicate these ailments for good.

The UK’s total support package will:

  • wipe out Guinea worm, which is transmitted through dirty water
  • eliminate visceral leishmaniasis in Asia, a parasitic disease caused by infected sand-flies which destroy the internal organs
  • prevent up to 400,000 cases of blindness caused by trachoma, the leading cause of infectious blindness in the world
  • prevent tens of thousands of cases of disability caused by lymphatic filariasis, a mosquito-transmitted disease which can cause severe swelling of the lower limbs

The UK will also build on the great work done by our world-class universities, pharma companies and NGOs tackling Neglected Tropical Diseases by investing in pioneering research to drive the development of drugs that will control or eliminate them.

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