30 November 2012 - London - Last night 108 people gathered at Apothecaries Hall to launch the Sir John Crofton Fund to Fight TB. This new fund - named for the pioneering physician and professor at the University of Edinburgh who developed the "Edinburgh method" of treating TB, using a triple drug combination - will be used to fight TB in the United Kingdom and internationally. The event was organized by the United Kingdom’s national tuberculosis charity TB Alert, which will also manage the new fund.
A keynote speaker at the event, Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership, said this was a good moment to reflect on Sir John’s remark that his generation had the opportunity to eradicate TB but did not take it.
"It is a shame that we are still facing TB as a problem in the year 2012. Not only have we not eradicated TB, as Sir John Crofton believed we could in the 1950s, but we now have huge burden," she said. "To move towards a real change in this situation, the TB community must get together and fight for more attention for TB, which will automatically bring more interest and funding. We know we need new drugs, new diagnostics, new vaccines and money. But we also need people - people like those in TB Alert, who are focused and ambitious and care for people at grass roots in the UK, India and Africa. We need to support them."
Writer and comedian Barry Cryer was also a speaker, and lent the event a light touch. Famed film director Sir Alan Parker (with such movies to his credit as Mississippi Burning and Evita), a patron of the Sir John Fund, was also on hand. Other patrons of the fund include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former Beatle Ringo Starr and Richard Crofton, the son of Sir John Crofton.
The new fund will be used specifically to:
The fund has to date received £150 000 in donations, including a £10 000 donation made last night.
Read more about the fund and TB Alert at www.tbalert.org