New NTD Donor Group Launches in London, UK

 

Global Network's managing director, Dr. Neeraj Mistry stands with Andy wright, Vice President of Global Health Programmes at GSK, and Chair of the Sabin City Group, John Cummins

Global Network’s managing director, Dr. Neeraj Mistry stands with Andy Wright, vice president of global health programmes at GSK, and chair of the Sabin City Group, John Cummins

In May 2014, the Sabin City Group, a newly formed donor group based in London, UK, hosted their inaugural event at the London headquarters of Credit Suisse to raise attention to the issue of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). With guest speakers including Andrew Bailey, Deputy Governor of Prudential Regulation at the Bank of England, Andy Wright, Vice President of Global Health Programmes at GSK and Global Network’s very own managing director, Dr. Neeraj Mistry, the 70 strong audience of bankers and corporate lawyers enjoyed an afternoon of discussion and debate on NTDs and the barriers to economic development and quality health and life.

The audience were startled to hear the facts: NTDs affect over one billion people including 800 million children globally, many of whom live on less than £1 per day. While NTDs may not kill in the same numbers that AIDS, TB and malaria do, many often lead to life-long suffering and disability, robbing people of their most economically productive years. NTD infections reduce school attendance among children and worker productivity for adults, trapping the most marginalized and vulnerable populations in a vicious cycle of poverty.  And yet, for just 50 pence per year, a person can receive treatment and protection against the seven most common NTDs, making control efforts against these diseases one of the most cost-effective investments in global health and development — largely thanks to the commitments of the pharmaceutical industry who have donated billions of doses of treatments for free.

Launched in the winter of 2013, the Sabin City Group is a partnership between corporate institutions in the UK and the charity Sabin Foundation Europe (SFE), the UK partner of the U.S.-based Sabin Vaccine Institute. This event was the first in a series of awareness and fundraising events to help achieve the group’s vision of building a UK corporate stakeholder movement that raises the awareness, political will and funding necessary, to control and eliminate the seven most common NTDs by 2020.

During the event, the Chair of the Sabin City Group, John Cummins, Group Treasurer of the Royal Bank of Scotland, launched the group’s ‘Guyana campaign’. This campaign is working to make history in the South American country of Guyana, to eliminate lymphatic filariasis (LF) by 2016. A Commonwealth country located on the northern coast of South America, Guyana has made progress in the fight against NTDs, but much work remains. The Sabin City Group is campaigning to reduce human suffering from these diseases of poverty through innovative delivery of treatments to an estimated 37,000 children at risk of soil transmitted helminthes (intestinal worms) and treatments to almost 690,000 people at risk of LF, a leading cause of disability globally. These investments will complement those already made by the Ministry of Health, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

You can follow the Sabin City Group’s activities on Twitter by following @SabinCityNTDs. If you would like more information about the Sabin City Group please contact aparna.barua@sabinfoundation.org.uk and if you would like to donate to the Sabin City Group’s Guyana campaign, please click here!

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