HC Deb 23 December 1976 vol 923 cc251-2W
Mr. Ward

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what support he proposes to give to the immunisation and tropical diseases research programmes of the World Health Organisation.

Mr. Judd

I have been following closely the development of the proposals made by the United Nations Development Programme and the World Health Organisation for a special programme for research and training in tropical diseases, for which total pledges already exceed £7 million. This programme has been launched to provide new tools for the control of six tropical diseases which are major causes of morbidity and mortality in the developing world—malaria, schistosomiasis, filariasis, trypanosomiasis, leprosy and leishmaniasis.

I am giving the full support of my Ministry to this co-ordinated world-wide effort, and have pledged, subject to parliamentary approval, a contribution of £500,000 for 1977, the first fully operational year of the programme. This follows an initial contribution of £150,000 provided for work on the preparatory stages which were carried out during 1976.

I am also giving the full support of my Ministry to the World Health Organisation's expanded programme on immunisation which has the objective of encouraging the development of well aimed and well administered immunisation programmes in developing countries which need external aid in expertise and resources for this purpose. In particular, the programme is assisting the poorest countries in Africa and in South East Asia. The immunisation programmes are national in character and are designed to reach the rural as well as the urban child.

I intend, subject to parliamentary approval, to make a contribution in kind to this programme by providing vaccines from manufacturers in the United Kingdom, and by meeting all the expenses of delivery up to a total value of £100,000 for each of the three financial years 1976–77 to 1978–79.

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