MP discusses campaign to tackle TB at meeting with Bill Gates
Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert met Bill Gates last month to discuss the global campaign to tackle tuberculosis (TB), one of the world’s deadliest diseases.
Mr Herbert met the philanthropist and founder of Microsoft at an event held at the Speaker's House in the Palace of Westminster on Wednesday 24 June to highlight the impact of UK efforts to alleviate poor health and poverty around the world.
The MP thanked Mr Gates for the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, explaining that his own interest in TB sprang from a visit to Kenya in 2005 with the charity RESULTS UK which was supported by the Gates Foundation.
Following his visit Mr Herbert co-founded the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global TB and has helped build it into one of the most influential groups of its type in the UK Parliament. Mr Herbert was re-elected Co-Chair of the Group last month.
Mr Herbert and Mr Gates discussed the Global TB Caucus, a unique global network of parliamentarians which the MP launched with the South African Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi, last year. The Caucus now has over 400 members from 63 countries, the biggest initiative of its type in the history of global health.
Mr Herbert said: “It was an honour to meet Bill Gates and discuss the importance of international development with one of the world’s greatest philanthropists. He made clear that the efforts of the UK government are helping save millions of lives, and improve the health and wellbeing of tens of millions more.”
Mr Herbert has been meeting ministers and advisers in the Government to discuss how a Conservative manifesto commitment to develop new drugs and vaccines to beat the world's deadliest diseases will be translated into action.
The MP said: “Outbreaks like Ebola have shown how weak many country’s health systems are and how infectious diseases can threaten us all. TB, for example, kills 1.5 million people a year and is found in every country in the world, while in drug resistant form it is very dangerous.
"Developing better drugs, tests, and vaccines is the only way to eliminate TB and other infectious diseases, which is why I was so pleased that this became a commitment in our election manifesto. Now we must translate the promise into action."
1. Photograph attached – Nick Herbert MP with Bill Gates at the Speaker's House.
2. For more information about the APPG on Global TB see http://www.appg-tb.org.uk.
3. For more information about the Global TB Caucus see www.globaltbcaucus.org.
4. The Conservative Party's 2015 Manifesto pledged: "We will lead a major new global programme to accelerate the development of vaccines and drugs to eliminate the world’s deadliest infectious diseases".