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10 things the UK is doing to make the world healthier

You might not have realised just how much the UK is doing to improve the health of the world, but it’s a lot. So much so that you really should know about it, so you can shout all about it, and feel proud to be a part of it.

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10 things the UK is doing to make the world healthier

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You might not have realised just how much the UK is doing to improve the health of the world, but it’s a lot. So much so that you really should know about it, so you can shout all about it, and feel proud to be a part of it.

Fact 1

Polio-who? The UK is helping lead the fight to end Polio

Even though the UK hasn’t seen a Polio case since the 1980s, it continues to lead the charge to eradicate the disease globally. With its public support for global vaccinations against this paralyzing disease, cases are decreasing globally by 99%. Last year the UK pledged to contribute to efforts to vaccinate 400 million children a year against Polio, leaving only two countries left in the world where wild Polio still exists.

Fact 2

The UK is helping women and girls globally gain access to contraception

Since 2012, the UK has been working to ensure all women can access family planning services and modern contraceptives. Approximately 218 million women in low- and middle-income countries want to avoid pregnancy but aren’t using contraception that would allow them to decide whether and when they have a family. The UK has helped 23.5m women and girls gain access to contraception, and their efforts to expand access have helped save the lives of thousands of women by preventing maternal deaths.

Fact 3

A Birmingham University research team is making pregnancy safer

Dr. Ioannis Gallos and Prof. Arri Coomarasamy at the University of Birmingham are leading the world on innovation to promote healthy deliveries. In 2019, their team found that giving progesterone to pregnant women with early pregnancy bleeding and a history of miscarriage could increase their chances of delivering a healthy baby

Fact 4

A Liverpool-led project is fighting TB with drones

The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and partners are launching a new project trialling the use of drones to combat Tuberculosis in some of Nepal’s most rural and inaccessible areas. TB is the world’s biggest infectious disease killer and there are more than 40,000 new cases in Nepal every year.

Fact 5

The UK is turning our engineering skills into
life-saving skills

Cardiff-based scientists at Sure Chill developed an innovative cooling system for fridges that keep vaccines cold for up to 4 weeks without power, making it perfect for transporting medicines to remote, hard to reach places and helping ensure kids everywhere are protected from diseases.

Fact 6

Liverpool-based research teams have discovered new snakebite treatment

The Centre for Snakebite Research at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine has found that the most commonly used medicine to treat mercury poisoning can in fact help treat snakebites. Snakebites are one of the world’s biggest hidden health problems with around 130,000 victims dying every year – and typically in the world’s poorest countries.

Fact 7

The Francis Crick Institute is fuelling the fight against COVID-19

In the last few months, the Francis Crick Institute in London clinically validated a method for 25-minute coronavirus testing which could quadruple the number of tests carried out and provide rapid information about whether an individual should self-isolate, reducing the risk of transmission.

Fact 8

UK-supported research teams have developed a treatment for relapsing Malaria

UK-supported research is analysing how changes to the malaria-carrying genes of mosquitoes could be a potential solution to getting rid of Malaria, particularly when it comes to treating relapsing Malaria. The development of a 1-day treatment, rather than the traditional 14-day one, will help patients recover more quickly from Malaria and allow them to get back to work, their families and their lives.

Fact 9

The UK is turning mobile phones into doctors on speed dial in Rwanda

To make health care more accessible in Rwanda, a UK-based digital health company Babylon Health launched Babyl Health Rwanda, a service that helps people across the country connect with health staff and receive prescriptions and medical referrals just using their mobile phone. This kind of technology could revolutionise health care access everywhere.

Fact 10

The UK is saving the lives of new mothers everywhere

The UK has supported the development of Ellavi, a new low-cost medical balloon device designed to stop postpartum bleeding, the leading cause of maternal death globally. Ellavi is estimated to save the lives of 169,000 new mothers by 2030, ensuring that fewer children grow up without mothers.

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