Nigerian-American bobsled star Seun Adigun joins fight against malaria
To keep the fight against malaria alive, particularly during the period of COVID-19 pandemic, a new team of global influencers is joining with youth champions for the ‘Zero Malaria Starts With Me campaign’ to inspire awareness and action to mark the World Mosquito Day.
Leading athletes from Africa and other continents, including 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 footballer Luis Figo, and founder of the first-ever Nigerian bobsled team, Seun Adigun, are urging people to ‘see the bigger picture’ by tackling COVID-19 and malaria together to save more lives.
Malaria is one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases, transmitted by mosquitoes, which kills an average of over 400,000 people annually, with over 90 per cent of the figure recorded in Africa.
An estimated 228 million long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), were due to be delivered across Sub-Saharan Africa this year, more than ever before, but severe disruptions to life-saving net campaigns and limited access to antimalarial medicines as a result of COVID-19 could potentially result in a doubling of the number of malaria deaths in the region compared to 2018, according to recent modelling analyses by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Imperial College, London.
CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, Dr Abdourahmane Diallo, said: “Malaria does not stop devastating lives during health emergencies and still kills a child every two minutes. Indeed, experiences from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa show it can resurge in times of crisis with immediate and deadly consequences. COVID-19 has exposed weaknesses in health systems around the world and, with lives at risk and resources increasingly stretched, long-term malaria investment alongside short-term COVID-19 response is essential, smart, and cost-effective.”
The Bigger Picture campaign, which was launched yesterday, featured 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.