Emma Thompson announced as London’s TB ambassador

Tuberculosis is not a disease that most of us would consider to be common nowadays. However, in 2013 there were just under 3,000 cases of it in London alone.

Emma Thompson‘s (Professor Trelawney) son, Tindy, was one of many people treated for TB in the city at the University College London Hospitals (UCLH). This personal connection has prompted Thompson to aid in the fight against this disease. Back in October, we shared the news that Thompson was backing a new TB specialist clinic, and now, she has been named the TB ambassador for London.

Of her appointment, Thompson said,

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.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who appointed the actress to the position, also spoke about Thompson’s involvement:

I am thrilled that Emma Thompson has agreed to be a TB ambassador for London, lending her immense talent and enthusiasm to help raise awareness of this disease.

The campaign to treat and prevent TB is being undertaken by Public Health England and NHS England, with £11.5 million being invested into tackling the disease over the next five years. A mobile “Find&Treat” service is also being launched by UCLH, which will travel across London to help diagnose cases of TB, as well as other diseases, such as HIV and Hepatitis C.

Thompson goes on to explain the benefits of this mobile service:

The service provided by the Find&Treat van is invaluable, and it clearly demonstrates that we can reach all sections of the community if we try. The scale of TB in London is a genuinely alarming situation that can, and must, be addressed, and I look forward to supporting you all in this work in the coming months and years.

Deputy Mayor, Victoria Borwick, added that,

This mobile health unit is set to make a real difference to Londoners’ health, especially in the ongoing campaign to diagnose and treat TB.

London currently has the highest number of TB cases in any capital city in the developed world, while the UK has a rate nearly five times higher than that of the US. It is hoped that this campaign, with Thompson’s help, will significantly reduce these numbers.

What do you think about Thompson’s appointment? Do you like hearing about Potter stars giving back and helping causes like this?