To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what estimate she has made of the number of people with (a) lymphatic filariasis, (b) river blindness, (c) schistosomiasis and (d) childhood intestinal worms who would have received treatment from the UK-funded Sustainable Control and Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases programme in West and Central Africa between October 2021 and April 2022 had that programme continued during that period.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what Neglected Tropical Disease programmes her Department funded from April to September 2021; what funding each such programme received; and what Neglected Tropical Disease programmes her Department is funding from October 2021 to March 2022.
The seismic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the UK economy forced tough but necessary decisions, including exiting from Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) implementation programmes. The UK has made a significant contribution to global efforts to protect hundreds of millions of people from NTDs. Our programmes have delivered NTD treatments and strengthened health systems to deliver these services in future.
The latest target for the total number of treatments to be delivered by the ASCEND (Accelerating the Sustainable Control and Elimination of NTDs) programme between 2019 and 2022 was 600 million. Hundreds of millions of treatments have been distributed to date under the programme. The full results and spend of the programme will be published by March 2022.
FCDO research has helped deliver innovative technologies such as new diagnostics and treatments for NTDs, for example the first rapid diagnostic test as well as the first ever oral only drug to treat all stages of sleeping sickness. We currently fund the Coalition for Operational Research on NTDs and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative.
Global health remains a priority for UK Official Development Assistance. We will invest in health systems strengthening through our support for the World Health Organisation (WHO), multi-country global funds and bilateral support for health programmes within countries, including those affected by NTDs. The UK fully endorses the WHO's 2030 NTDs Road map and its focus on sustainability and delivery through health systems.