A FORMER Clydebank pupil headed to Westminster to help in the fight against three epidemics.

Eighteen-year-old Holly Sheridan met with MPs across the country in parliament last week in a bid to urge the government to invest in the fight against AIDS, tubercolosis (TB) and malaria at a “day of action” organised by The ONE Campaign, a global movement aiming to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030, for which Holly is an ambassador.

Holly met with Carol Monaghan, MP for Glasgow North West, to talk about international charity Global Fund’s success stories, and present its investment case, which if fully funded could help save 20 million lives.

She also provided MPs with booklets which included messages addressed personally to them from constituents expressing their wish for the UK to invest more in ending preventable disease through the Global Fund. 

The former St Peter the Apostle High School pupil said: “The pandemic and its aftershocks have meant that for the first time in a generation we have seen the threat from AIDS, TB and malaria increase. 

“Science has given us the tools to finally beat these diseases. We have the knowledge and skills to get these tools where they are needed. 

“What is missing is the investment to finish the job.”

Clydebank Post: Holly headed to London to speak with the UK GovernmentHolly headed to London to speak with the UK Government

The UK co-founded the Global Fund to fight against the three epidemics which according to the charity has saved more than 44 million lives, halving the death rate in the countries that the organisation provides support in.

In 2020, for the first time, programmes declined due to the Covid pandemic with one million fewer people with TB treated. HIV testing dropped by 22 per cent, and malaria deaths increased by 12.4 per cent in Global Fund’s eligible countries.

The fund invests more than $4billion a year to support programmes run by local experts in more than 100 countries in partnership with governments, civil society, technical agencies, and the private sector.

Holly, from Blairdardie, urged MPs to call on the government to make an ambitious pledge to the Global Fund to get the world back on track toward ending the three diseases, and to build resilient health systems globally. 

Find out more at one.org.