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Relieving 500 million people from forgotten diseases

Tuesday 20th February 2007 @ 19:00

Non-Member: £12.00 ; Staff: £5.00 ; Student: £3.00


Professor Alan Fenwick OBE, Chair of Tropical Parasitology, Director of the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative

Professor Fenwick has spent nearly 40 years working in sub-saharan Africa mostly in the Sudan and Egypt carrying out research and carrying out programmes tackling Schistosomiasis also known as bilharzia.

Professor Fenwick has spent nearly 40 years working in sub-saharan Africa mostly in the Sudan and Egypt carrying out research and carrying out programmes tackling Schistosomiasis also known as bilharzia. One of several diseases including Elephantiasis, Worms, and River Blindness that affect the lives of almost a third of the world's population. They affect the poorest of the poor, those that do not have the economic strength or importance to be the target of most politicians. In some countries as many as eighty per cent of the rural population are suffering from one or more of these waterborne diseases. Slow to kill they are delibitating. Children are particularly affected. They suffer anemia, malnutrition and experience lethargy, lack of concentration and difficulty in learning.

"Forgotten" people with "forgotten" diseases.

Fortunately some international drug companies have agreed to donate the drugs these people need. In addition the Bill and Melinda Gates' Foundation has invested in several international groups to facilitate and evaluate treatment. A number of these diseases can be treated with a single pill once a year. Getting the pills for each of the diseases from manufacturer to the millions of mouths is a problem of politics, beliefs, transport, training and of course money. Professor Fenwick told a wrapt audience how he is working with the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases Control, other donors and scientists to provide an affordable, effective, pro-poor, community based, sustainable solution to these disabling parasitic diseases.

Professor Fenwick joined members and their guests for a supper at a local restaurant after the lecture.

You can see more aboutProfessor Alan Fenwick, the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases andthe Schistosomiasis Control Initiative using these links.

Venue: Sir Alexander Fleming Building