The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) and its UK sister organization Sabin Foundation Europe, released the following statement on the UK government’s allocation of £1 billion for malaria and other infectious diseases. This funding will be distributed through the newly-developed Ross Fund, created by the Department for International Development (DFID) in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The £1 billion fund will include a £300 million package focused on malaria and other infectious diseases, including:

  • A £90 million eradication of malaria implementation fund;
  • £100 million support for research and development into products for infectious diseases; and
  • £115 million to develop new drugs, diagnostics and insecticides for malaria, TB and other infectious disease resistance.

In addition, the Ross Fund will be used to target neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and diseases with epidemic potential and emerging resistance.

Sabin and Sabin Foundation Europe are encouraged by the UK government’s investment in global health programs, despite austerity measures taking place across UK government departments and an increasing international focus on emerging humanitarian threats. The allocation of these funds demonstrates the government’s commitment to improving health worldwide and fighting diseases that primarily plague the world’s poorest populations.

The Ross Fund is an important development for global efforts to combat malaria, and will have positive implications for research and development for infectious and neglected diseases. DFID is doing remarkable work, supporting NTD programs to treat lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), onchocerciasis (river blindness), schistosomiasis and Guinea worm. The case for continuing to use and scale-up currently-available high-impact treatments remains clear; however, there is a need to consider future needs by investing in novel technologies, including the development of new affordable drugs, vaccines and point-of care technologies, if we are to achieve elimination of some of these diseases.

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States, we have new reason to be grateful. We appreciate the UK government’s continued support for infectious and neglected diseases, and look forward to seeing the impact of the Ross Fund in the coming months.

For more information, you may read the full DFID announcement here.

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About the Sabin Vaccine Institute

The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization of scientists, researchers and advocates dedicated to reducing needless human suffering from vaccine-preventable and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Since its founding in 1993 in honor of Dr. Albert B. Sabin, the developer of the oral polio vaccine, Sabin has been at the forefront of global efforts to eliminate, prevent and cure infectious and neglected tropical diseases. Sabin develops new vaccines, advocates for increased use of existing vaccines and promotes expanded access to affordable medical treatments in collaboration with governments, academic institutions, scientists, medical professionals and other non-profit organizations. For more information, please visit www.sabin.org.

About the Sabin Foundation Europe

Sabin Foundation Europe is a UK-registered charity founded in 2011 to support vaccine research and development, advocacy efforts and treatment programmes for vaccine-preventable and neglected tropical diseases. As a partner of the U.S.-based Sabin Vaccine Institute, Sabin Foundation Europe leads the efforts in the United Kingdom and across Europe to promote proven, cost-effective solutions to the world’s most pervasive, and least understood, health issues to policymakers, partners and other institutions. For more information, please visit www.sabin.org/sabin-foundation-europe.

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