‘Inspirational’ TB research highlighted at parliamentary debate

Liverpool’s world-leading infectious diseases research and expertise has been highlighted at a parliamentary debate on ending tuberculosis.

Louise Ellman, Labour MP for Liverpool, Riverside spoke at the House of Commons debate on 7 June to draw attention to the collaborative work being led by the University of Liverpool and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to tackle the disease.

The motion from the Conservative, Nick Herbert, and Labour’s Virendra Sharma noted that TB is the world’s deadliest infectious disease, killing 1.7m people a year and called on the government to boost research into new drugs, diagnostics, vaccines, and applied health research. The MPs also urged other countries to act during a forthcoming UN High-level Meeting on TB in New York later this year.

During her speech Ms Ellman said: “The work in Liverpool to combat this disease is wide-ranging. Scientists at the Institute of Infection and Global Health are leading a €25 million European public-private partnership aiming to accelerate development of new combinations of drugs to fight TB, both in the UK and abroad. They are also looking at how poverty is contributing to the challenge of tuberculosis. Poor people are more likely develop the disease and, indeed, to die from it.”

She went on to talk in more detail about the PreDiCT-TB project being led by Professor Gerry Davies and the work of Dr Tom Wingfield, who is leading studies in the UK, Peru and Nepal that fight poverty to control TB, including the upcoming multi-country BEYOND-TB trial.

Ms Ellman said: “Those are just a few examples of the inspirational work based in Liverpool. It reflects dedicated people with high levels of expertise and institutions that enable this important work to progress internationally in a collaborative way. It is about combating a disease that takes millions of lives a year.”

In her concluding remarks she said that she fully supports the need for international support and additional funding, but asked the House to also “take note of the groundbreaking collaborative work currently taking place in Liverpool,” adding that “Liverpool should be proud.”

Heads of State will gather in New York on 26 September 2018 at the United Nations General Assembly, a once in a lifetime opportunity for civil-society, patient groups, academics, professionals, policy makers, program leaders, researchers, and other interested parties to collaborate on new and/or improved strategies to end TB around the world.

Watch the debate here: https://goo.gl/dL77Yn

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