MP Julian Huppert has joined representatives from across the G7 countries and the European Parliament to call for renewed action against TB.
Julian was one of the first MPs to sign a statement to mark World TB Day on Monday (March 24), which highlights the fact that every year more than one million people die from a disease that many consider to have been eradicated.
As a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global TB, Julian is working with members on a report examining research and development of diseases like TB.
“Cambridge is one of the leading research centres in the world when it comes to understanding infectious diseases like TB,” said Julian, “but research funding for TB is chronically low and must be increased if we’re going to develop better treatments and hopefully, one day, a new vaccine.
“People don’t appreciate what a problem TB really is,” said Dr Huppert. “They often think it’s a disease which only affects people in other countries, but it can be a problem here in the UK as well; even in a place like Cambridge people could be at risk.
“We don’t have many cases every year in the UK, but the treatment is extremely long and arduous and each case is a life turned upside down unnecessarily.
“TB has killed more people than any other infectious disease in history and still kills 1.3 million people every single year. The only way that we’re going to beat the disease is if we have coordinated, global action.”
“There is a lot we need to tackle the disease, but it all starts with political commitment,” said Aaron Oxley, Executive Director of RESULTS UK which is working on TB.
“We’ve never had so many politicians from across the world sign onto one call for action. This is a significant moment in the fight against TB.”