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Britain to protect more than 140 million in global effort to rid the world of neglected tropical diseases

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Britain will supply more than four treatments every second for people in the developing world for the next four years as part of a global push to help eliminate infectious tropical diseases, International Development Minister Stephen O’Brien announced today.

British support is leading the way and will protect more than 140 million of the world’s poorest men, women and children from the agonising pain caused by these avoidable infections which deform, disable, blind and kill.

The pledge marks a five-fold increase in Britain’s support as part of an international effort to help rid the world of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), currently affecting one billion people and killing more than half a million every year.

It comes ahead of a conference in London on January 30 th when the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, governments, NGOs, multilateral organisations and the private sector will unite to help consign the diseases to history.

Sufferers of NTDs are often immobile with adults unable to work to support their families and children forced to miss school for weeks, or even months, at a time.