Andrea Jenkyns, the Conservative MP for Morley and Outwood who beat Ed Balls in the recent UK election, addressed nearly 700 people at the UK BioIndustry association’s annual dinner at the Natural History Museum, London. Andrea who went into politics because she lost her father Clifford to an MRSA infection contracted in Pinderfields Hospital, has campaigned on hospital cleanliness and drug resistance issues for some time, was invited speak at the event on behalf of the charity Antibiotic Research UK to tell her story and help to raise money into finding new strains of antibiotics.
At the event, attended by many of Britain’s leading bioscience companies, academics, the governments’ Chief Medical Officer and Science Minister George Freeman, over £28,000 was raised for Antibiotic Research UK, to help their fight to find the next generation of antibiotics.
Andrea said “Over the last three years I have met so many people and heard countless personal stories from those who have lost their loved ones to hospital infections, and there is no barriers to age or gender. With some 25,000 people a year in Europe alone dying from infections resistant to antibiotic drugs, this is a very real threat and we do need a collaborative approach between hospitals, GP’s the farming industry and the pharmaceutical industry if we are to eradicate infections that are resistant to antibiotics;.
She went on to say “Yorkshire based charity, Antibiotic Research UK is the only global charity that is committed to finding new antibiotics. They aim to raise £30 million and deliver a new antibiotic within the next five years. It was formed by a group of eminent UK scientists, clinicians and professionals knowledgeable in antibiotic resistance and I believe they deserve tremendous support and I will do all I can to help them. I also wish to champion the work of the Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davis, who is leading the way in ensuring antibiotic resistance is on the agenda. Last year in her report she stated that, the danger posed by growing resistance to antibiotics should be ranked alongside terrorism on the list of threats the nation faces and antibacterial resistant infections still account for 7% of all deaths in England.”
June Garner of Antibiotic Research commented, ‘I wanted to send Andrea my personal thanks for giving such an excellent speech at the BIA Gala dinner. It was a both moving and poignant description of what she had experienced during her Father’s illness and untimely death. I heard many comments from people who felt the same as me and she certainly made people think. Her speech will have helped both Antibiotic Research UK and the MRSA Action UK Charity.’ For more information on Antibiotic Research UK visit https://www.antibioticresearch.org.uk/