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GSK effort to eradicate deadly diseases

Wed, 26 May 2004

For immediate release.

GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals' (GSK) efforts to eradicate one of the world's most deadly diseases will be featured in a BBC World Television documentary to be broadcast to New Zealand Sky TV subscribers this Saturday (May 29).

Lymphatic Filariasis (LF), commonly known as elephantiasis, is a disabling and disfiguring tropical disease caused by thread-like worms (filariae) that live in the human lymphatic system.

The television documentary, which highlights GSK's efforts to help eliminate the disease, will be aired on BBC World Television as part of the series "Kill or Cure: The World's Most Deadly Diseases".

GSK New Zealand Medical Director, Dr Ian Griffiths explained; 'It mainly affects people in tropical and sub-tropical areas of Asia, Africa and the Americas. Around 120 million people are affected by LF, with more than one billion people at risk of infection. GSK is a key member of the Global Alliance to Eliminate LF by the year 2020, the goals of which are to interrupt transmission of LF, country by country, until LF has been eliminated as a public health problem.'

GSK supports the alliance by donating its antiparasitic drug albendazole and through help with coalition-building, planning, training and communications initiatives. By the end of the programme, GSK will have donated approximately five to six billion albendazole treatments for people in 80 countries.

BBC World has an audience reach of 280 million people, and the half-hour documentary will air on BBC World at least six times. . Saturday, 29 May 07.30 Saturday, 29 May 22.30 Monday, 31 May 08.30 Tuesday, 1 June 01.30 Wednesday, 2 June 04.30 Thursday, 3 June 12.30 Thursday, 3 June 19.30

Other programmes in the series highlight malaria, kala-azar, TB, bilharziasis, polio, hepatitis B and diarrhoeal diseases.

ENDS

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