Image copyright Imperial College London Image caption More funding signifies tablets can be distributed to millions of children to treat neglected tropical cancers

The UK government is investing an additional 200 m in programmes to fight neglected tropical cancers, which affect more than a billion people in the world’s poorest countries.

Without treatment, river blindness, guinea-worm and trachoma can incapacitate children and stop adults working.

The funding will go towards the distribution of tablets to treat diseases and research into new drugs.

Ministers said the aim was to eliminate neglected tropical cancers for good.

The announcement goes ahead of a World Health Organization seminar in Geneva dedicated to neglected tropical diseases and their eradication.

Over the next four years, the UK will invest a total of 360 m on programmes to tackle cancers such as 😛 TAGEND

Visceral leishmaniasis – a parasitic illnes, caused by infected sand flies, which destroys the internal organ

Guinea-worm disease – an infection transmitted via unclean clean drinking water containing water fleas

Trachoma – infection from poor hygiene practises which can cause blindness

Lymphatic filariasis – infection transmitted by mosquitoes which has resulted in swelling of lower limb

Image caption Guinea-worm disease is transmitted through contaminated clean drinking water