21 January 2015 -- Geneva, Switzerland -- The award-winning actress, Emma Thompson, was this week appointed as the new TB Ambassador by the Mayor of London. The appointment comes at a crucial time as the city currently has the highest number of TB cases in any capital city in the developed world.
A campaign to treat and prevent TB is being undertaken by Public Health England and NHS England, with �11.5 million being invested in tackling the disease over the next five years. A unique mobile "Find & Treat" service is also being launched by the University College London Hospitals (UCLH), which will travel across London to help diagnose cases of TB and other infectious diseases.
Emma Thompson's son Tindy was one of many people treated for TB in the city at UCLH. This personal connection prompted Thompson to aid in the fight against this disease.
"I am delighted that my involvement in this fight will be ongoing, as the Mayor of London has invited me to be his TB Ambassador to highlight the action we need to take to fight this disease, a disease of which I have personal experience. My son, Tindy, is with you this morning, and his experience of being diagnosed and treated for TB is one of the reasons why I am committed to this cause," she said of her appointment.
"Emma Thompson's personal connection to the disease through her son and her outreach will help amplify our efforts towards ending the TB epidemic. I applaud the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, for appointing a TB Ambassador to increase the visibility and understanding of this disease," said Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership.
"Ahead of World TB Day, I am delighted that her appointment will bring us one step closer to reaching the most vulnerable. With her help, this campaign could see a significant reduction in TB cases which has been worryingly on the rise in London."