On 16 November, a group of MPs visited the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) to find out more about the work of Liverpool researchers in the fight against TB, both in the UK and abroad.
The APPG’s co-chair, the Rt Hon Nick Herbert CBE MP, was joined the School’s MP Dame Louise Ellman as well as Angela Eagle MP and Dan Carden MP, who represent local constituencies.
The day started with a tour of LSTM’s laboratories, where MPs were jointed by a former TB patient and his nursing team and had the chance to see the cutting edge technology being used to identify and test new TB drugs. A subsequent poster session gave a comprehensive overview of the research being conducted across Liverpool's universities, ranging from drug-discovery through to applied health systems research that seeks to make TB services more accessible for marginalised populations.
Nick Herbert was asked to address a room full of students and academics from across Liverpool’s research institutions, reporting from the recent UN High-Level Meeting on TB and highlighting the important role of the academic community in reaching the targets agreed to by world leaders at the summit. Thanking the researchers in the room for their vital and impressive work, he emphasised that their role needed to transcend the laboratory to work with civil society organisations and networks such as the Global TB Caucus to drive the political will needed to end TB.
During the subsequent Q&A, both Angela Eagle MP and Dame Louise Ellman MP applauded the work done by academics in Liverpool and echoed Mr Herbert’s call to work together to make the case for greater investment in both TB research and TB programmes through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Professor Bertie Squire, who moderated the event, closed the session by encouraging attendees to join the UK Academics and Professionals to End TB network. Professor Squire said: “Engagement with politicians is vital if we are going to take a joined-up approach to ensuring that the research carried out here at LSTM and the University of Liverpool is able to impact on the global problem of TB”
A full recording of the lecture can be found here.