£138m aid money to target diseases

Almost £140 million of aid money is to be invested in developing new treatments for some of the world's most debilitating and deadly diseases.

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Each year 660,000 people - mostly children - die of malaria, the Department for International Development said

Almost £140 million of aid money is to be invested in developing new treatments for some of the world's most debilitating and deadly diseases.

The Department for International Development (DFID) said millions of lives could be saved by safe, effective treatments for conditions such as HIV, malaria or diarrhoea.

Over the next five years, £138 million will be spent with nine public-private partnerships to support development of drugs, vaccines, insecticides, diagnostic tools and microbicides, all to prevent, diagnose or treat disease.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: "We have seen big progress in the treatment of some of the world's most terrible diseases but there is still more that can be done.

"The development of new technologies is vital if we are to improve the health of the poorest people through better treatment and prevention and avoid the unnecessary deaths of children.

"Working together in product development partnerships, the public and private sectors have a chance to bring together their expertise for the benefit of millions of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people."

DFID said each year 800,000 children die of diarrhoea, 660,000 people - mostly children - die of malaria and 1.4million die of TB. More than 34 million people have HIV, 8.8 million have TB and about one billion people have one or more of the neglected tropical diseases such as sleeping sickness, skin sores and various worm diseases.

The nine partnerships to be supported by the cash are:

:: Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), which works on new drugs for sleeping sickness, skin sores, river blindness and other lymphatic diseases spread by parasites and mosquitoes;

:: Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), which works on new drugs for malaria, with a focus on treating malaria in pregnancy and the relapsing form of malaria;

:: Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC), which works on new insecticides to control insects that carry malaria and some of the neglected tropical diseases;

:: Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), which works on new diagnostic tests for TB, malaria and sleeping sickness;

:: TB Alliance, which works on new drugs for people with TB and for those also infected with HIV;

:: Aeras, which works on development of new vaccines to prevent TB infection;

:: New Products for Diarrhoea and Malaria (PATH), which works on developing new drugs, diagnostics and vaccines for diarrhoeal disease and diagnostics for malaria;

:: International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), which works on support for the development of new Aids vaccines;

:: International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM), which works on support for the development of women-controlled HIV prevention technologies.