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Over the last three months, IHTM students have been preparing policy briefs to present to the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, NTDs.

The IHTM students are standing outside the Houses of Parliament

Preparations culminated in presentations at the Houses of Parliament to Lord Trees, Professor of Veterinary Parasitology and a crossbench member of the House of Lords, and Catherine West MP. Also present were Professor David Mabey, James Sunderland MP, Kathryn Forbes, Harriet Davenport, Gemma Aellah and Martha Varney.

Commenting Lord Trees said,

“The standard of the presentations was very impressive and the subjects discussed were of great global importance. It is encouraging to hear the engagement from future global health leaders.”

Students prepared five briefs on topics that were proposed by the APPG members:

  • When it comes to NTDs, what policy arguments might persuade donor countries to support disease management rather than Mass Drug Administration programmes?
  • How can policy makers use roadmaps and declarations, such as the WHO NTD roadmap or the Kigali Declaration on NTDS, to enact policy in a more meaningful, tangible manner?
  • How could a ‘One Health’ approach be better applied to the treatment and prevention of malaria (including consideration of biodiversity when assessing vector control for malaria)?
  • Given the current gaps in knowledge around climate sensitive diseases such as malaria, and the way climate change will impact on global health, what is needed for policymakers to better prepare health systems for this intersecting challenge?
  • What impact could the Financial Intermediary Fund for Pandemic Prevention have on tackling new and existing diseases such as malaria?

Students were given a tour of the Houses of Parliament taking in both chambers and the beautiful Westminster Hall. Following Prime Minister’s Question Time, MPs debated the topical ‘Windsor Framework’ - the post-Brexit legal agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom - and students were able to follow the debate from the viewing gallery.