Guest Blog: Malaria Must Die So Millions Can Live

Malaria Must Die So Millions Can Live – A global campaign backed by David Beckham calls for bold political action to accelerate progress in the fight against malaria. 

A child is dying from malaria, a wholly preventable and treatable disease, every two minutes. Since 2000, the international community has cut malaria deaths by a phenomenal 60%, saving almost 7 million lives. In the words of David Beckham ‘That’s amazing progress and proof that the UK’s generosity when it comes to giving aid makes a real difference to real lives. We’ve a lot to be proud of.’ However, the latest World Malaria Report from the World Health Organisation shows that progress has now stalled and that hard-won gains are in jeopardy.  

In response, a coalition of global orgainsations and celebrities – including Malaria No More UK, GSK, Nando’s, Comic Relief, Fever Tree and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – have launched a new campaign, Malaria Must Die So Millions Can Live, with a film featuring David Beckham. The campaign calls on Commonwealth leaders to commit to bold political action to end malaria for good at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in April. 

The Commonwealth is disproportionately impacted by malaria, costing thousands of lives and billions of pounds in lost productivity. 90% of Commonwealth citizens live in malaria-endemic countries. Whilst the Commonwealth makes up a third of the world’s population, it comprises two-thirds of the global population at risk of malaria.  Malaria is not simply a health issue: it affects childhood and education, hindering the social and economic development of nations, and could hold back progress on multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The Malaria Summit on 18th April, which is being held in London during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, is therefore an unparalleled opportunity for Heads of Government, together with business and science leaders, to make commitments that accelerate progress in the fight against malaria. When Commonwealth Heads of Government meet officially the next day, it is hoped that malaria will feature prominently on the agenda and leaders will agree a new collective Commonwealth commitment to tackle the disease.

In the count down to the Summit, I would encourage colleagues to attend the Malaria Summit Commonwealth Day Reception on 12th March from 18:00 to 20:00 in the River Room, to hear from the Secretary of State for International Development, and leading figures working to make the summit a success. For more information, please contact lis.wallace@malarianomore.org.uk. 

Written by Charlotte Dixie and Lis Wallace from Malaria No More