Madam Speaker, over one billion people around the world suffer from neglected tropical diseases, or NTDs.
They are diseases that we as Canadians do not always think about, but they have a major impact on some of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people. NTDs are complex and not always easily overcome. They can cause additional illnesses, disability, disfigurement, stigma and social isolation, and these can lead to lost opportunities for development in children and socio-economic problems for those infected and their families.
However, there is hope. Thanks to co-ordinated global efforts, progress is being made. Medicines and partnerships are available and advancements continue. Yesterday was World NTD Day. I would like to commend the devoted Canadians who are working diligently on behalf of those suffering from NTDs.
I know that Canada, and everyone in this House, will continue to play a leadership role in health policy around the world to end neglected tropical diseases and bring hope and health to everyone.