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Bill Cash MP embarks on trip to see impact of TB and HIV/AIDS in India

Press release 04/09/09       

 
Bill Cash and five other parliamentarians are preparing to embark on a fact finding trip to India to see first-hand the impact of preventable diseases such as tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS as well as the work that the UK government is doing to help India eradicate diseases of poverty.
 
Bill Cash MP will attend alongside David Amess MP, David Borrow MP, Mark Oaten MP, Virendra Sharma MP and Lord Amir Bhatia for four days, visiting a range of health programmes, speaking with patients and health workers to gain a better understanding of the impact the diseases have on individuals, families and communities. The delegates will also meet key decision makers, officials from the Indian Ministry of Health and representatives from the UK Department for International Development.
 
The visit to India is being hosted by the international development organisation RESULTS UK. The parliamentary delegation will take place between Sunday September 6 and Thursday September 10.
 
Despite being the tenth largest economy in the world, 900 million Indians still live in poverty. For many of India’s poor, health care is out of reach, treatment is left too late, and the final costs place a huge financial burden on families. Infant, child and maternal mortality rates are not falling fast enough to meet Millennium Development Goal targets. Very high levels of under-nutrition persist and communicable diseases, such as TB, have a devastating effect on the 80% of the population that survive on less that $2 per day.    
 
India is the highest TB burden country in the world, with more than 1,000 people a day dying from the disease. The threat of drug-resistant strains of the disease as well as the deadly impact of TB/HIV co-infection means that continued UK investment in health programmes in the country is essential. The fight against TB and HIV in India is far from won.
 
Through their involvement with the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Global TB as well as the APPG on HIV/AIDS and the APPG on Water and Sanitation – chaired by Bill Cash MP – visiting delegates aim to raise awareness of the growing scale and impact of epidemics and associated health threats, and to reinforce the UK’s commitment to halting the spread of the diseases. Bill Cash is Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Water and Sanitation in the Third World and the Committee has campaigned for many years on water and sanitation issues. The Committee already has the parliamentary support of more than 250 MPs in the campaign for better water and sanitation.
 
India-UK relations have never been stronger in terms of trade, economic ties, tourism, education and security. Development aid is a key tenet of this relationship, and since 2001 the Department for International Development has contributed over £200 million a year to improving the lives of India’s poor. 
 
In the current economic climate, the British public need to know that their development assistance is reaching those most in need and delivering sustainable results. In India, UK aid has helped save the lives of 1.2 million people who would otherwise have died of TB. The UK tax payer can be assured that investment in the health of India’s poor is making a real and lasting difference.
 
 
For further information
 
RESULTS UK is a non-profit advocacy organisation working to raise the public and political will to end hunger and the worst aspects of poverty.
 
RESULTS UK is currently part of a global tuberculosis advocacy project
 
‘ACTION’ (Advocacy to Control TB Internationally) ‐ which aims to generate greater financial support and political commitment to the control of TB worldwide.
 
RESULTS also host the secretariats of the APPG on Global Tuberculosis and the UK Coalition to Stop TB.
 
For further information about the work of RESULTS or the ACTION Project visit www.results-uk.org or www.action.org

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