David Beckham uses his reputation to boost the battle against malaria in the campaign “Malaria must die so millions can live.”
Former international British footballer joined the potential of the non-governmental organization Malaria No More UK and starred in a short film in which he appears enclosed in a glass box surrounded by 10,000 mosquitoes. The aim is to show how malaria is transmitted through the sting of infected mosquitoes.
“These insects are in some areas annoying, as in the UK, but in many parts of the world a mosquito bite may be scary and deadly,” Beckham says, according to a report by the Thomson Reuters Foundation,. Despite the successes that have been recorded in recent years, malaria continues to kill about 445,000 people a year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
“It is totally unacceptable,” said Beckham, who is also a UNICEF Ambassador of Goodwill.
This campaign is aimed primarily at the leaders of the 52 Commonwealth countries to adopt policies aimed at eradicating the disease. WHO warned last year that the battle against malaria has come to a standstill, as there is insufficient funding and there is the impression that the disease is not a major threat.
In its most recent report on malaria, the WHO says that in 2016 some 216 million people have been affected by the disease in 91 countries, an increase of 5 million cases compared to the previous year. Most deaths from malaria are reported in children under 5 in sub-Saharan Africa.