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London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases

Volume 598: debated on Wednesday 8 July 2015

4. What progress she has made towards achieving the aim of the London declaration on neglected tropical diseases to eradicate such diseases by 2020. (900804)

The UK is delivering on the commitment we made and our programmes are protecting millions of people from these diseases. My right hon. Friend the Minister of State for International Development participated in the recent launch of the third progress report on the London declaration.

By funding the global trachoma mapping project—the largest such project ever attempted—will my right hon. Friend say what the Department aims to achieve and how the lessons learned from that project can be used in the ongoing fight against other neglected tropical diseases?

My hon. Friend is right to point out the importance of accurately mapping trachoma. That will enable us better to apply the appropriate actions and activities to rid the world of the worst blindness disease in the world today.

Instances of trachoma, often involving irreversible blindness among children, are continuing, particularly in developing countries in Africa. What steps are we taking to try to address this very serious issue?

As I just mentioned, we have data from mapping the problem, and support from Sightsavers for the elimination of blindness and trachoma is also critical. The Government have put in £195 million, a large amount of money, through the 2012 process to help to tackle this disease, as well as many others.