UK’s ambition to stamp out neglected tropical diseases gets neglected

£200m project to tackle avoidable blindness and disfigurement in Africa is axed with cut to aid budget

A chandelier sparkling in the background, the grandeur of Downing Street gleaming behind him, Boris Johnson looks into the camera and speaks with solemnity. He is marking World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day, he says, to raise awareness of these “terrible afflictions … which impose an immense burden of suffering in developing countries”.

Huge progress has been made, he says, in the fight against the diseases, not least as a result of British aid to some of the poorest parts of the world. But there is more – much more – to be done: more than a billion people are still at risk, he warns, and that is why the UK “fully supports” the World Health Organization’s big elimination push over the next decade.

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