George initiates Parliamentary debate on global health

Posted on: 8th July 2014

West Cornwall MP, Andrew George (co-chair and co-founder of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global TB) is today initiating a Commons debate on research and development for global health (2.30pm – 4pm).

Mr George, who has taken a lifelong interest in international development and been fully engaged in Parliamentary work to achieve advances in standards in health says he will raise a range of issues, including:- the current antibiotic crisis; lack of treatment to those suffering from tuberculosis; vaccine funding for the poorest; research and development funding; improving the life chances of women and their babies in under resourced countries and the long term future of the World Health Organisation.

Mr George said, “I welcome the opportunity to initiate this debate on global health. We have reached crisis point in many of our global health delivery systems – in particular the lack of effective treatment for those suffering from TB. There is a harsh daily reality of individuals who are fighting the disease, without the required treatment – played out a million times every day across the planet. That is why my colleagues and I in the Westminster Parliament are determined to keep up the pressure for positive change.

“Since the All Party Group was established eight years ago, there has been significant progress in the efforts to tackle TB. The number of people infected with active forms of TB and those dying from the disease has decreased globally and there has been a renewed focus on Research and Development into new vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics that are fundamental to tackle the disease.

“Despite this progress, many people think TB is a disease of the past, but in reality, over 2 billion people are currently infected with TB bacteria – roughly one-third of the world’s population. One in ten people will become sick with active TB. TB kills 1.5 million people, which amounts to approximately 3,800 deaths per day. That is around one person every 25 seconds for a disease that can be treated with a course of antibiotics. Rates of TB are also now rapidly increasing in the UK and there are now more new cases of TB each year than new cases of HIV.

“The fight against TB needs a new sense of urgency and innovation; combined with sufficient funding – both in the UK and internationally – if we are to effectively tackle the TB crisis. Today’s Parliamentary debate will provide a welcome opportunity to reinforce this message.”