To keep the malaria fight alive and front of mind during the Covid-19 pandemic, a new team of global influencers are joining with youth champions behind the Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaign to inspire awareness and action against malaria.
These influencers include Kenyan world-record-holding marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge, World Cup-winning South African rugby captain Siya Kolisi, top female South African explorer Saray Khumalo, veteran international footballer Luis Figo, and founder of the first-ever Nigerian bobsled team Seun Adigun. They are urging people to ‘see the bigger picture’ by tackling COVID-19 and malaria together to save more lives.
Malaria, transmitted by mosquitoes, still kills an average of over 400,000 people annually – over 90 per cent of them in Africa. An estimated 228 million long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) were due to be delivered across Sub-Saharan Africa this year. However, COVID-19 caused severe disruptions to importation and limited access to antimalarial medicines. This means that there’s a high chance of Malaria deaths doubling compared to 2018.
Emergency Response Campaign – The Bigger Picture
To shine a spotlight on the vital importance of sustaining malaria efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bigger Picture campaign features Eliud Kipchoge, Siya Kolisi, Saray Khumalo, Luis Figo, and Seun Adigun.
The stars film themselves wearing a face mask whilst talking about the vital importance of tackling malaria and saving more lives during the pandemic, creating a striking image of both Covid-19 and malaria together – a visual representation of seeing the Bigger Picture.
Kenyan athlete and Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge, the world’s fastest marathon runner, says: “As a marathon runner, there’s nothing more important than keeping focus. As a father, there is nothing more important than protecting my children. With the fight against Covid-19, the world has been united, as one. Let us stay focused not just to fight Covid-19, but to fight Malaria as well. Let’s continue the fight for Zero Malaria – because no human is limited.”
Veteran footballer Luis Figo, a champion of the Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaign, says: “Both Covid-19 and malaria are formidable opponents, and we must come together to tackle them at the same time and save more lives. As we fight Covid-19, we must not let our guard down against malaria, which strikes the poorest and the most vulnerable hardest. Zero malaria means no child should die unnecessarily from a preventable and treatable disease.”
Mosquito Clap Challenge
Also launching the Zero Malaria’s #MosquitoClapChallenge will comprise a series of short videos featuring influencers as well as malaria youth champions from across Africa to illustrate the importance of continuing to fight the world’s oldest and deadliest disease despite the challenges of Covid-19.
When mosquitos get in people’s faces, it is usually accompanied by a swat or a clap to shoo them away or to catch them. Zero Malaria has teamed up with international Afropop dancer and choreographer Ezinne Asinugo to turn this clap into an easy 5-step routine for anyone anywhere to share across social media platforms, including Instagram and TikTok. Click here to join the challenge.
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