Today sees the launch of a short film (watch it here: http://bit.ly/JkNp3Y) showcasing Aloe’s recent trip to Ghana with Malaria No More UK. Aloe took time out from his tour schedule to witness the efforts underway to meet Ghana’s goal to make sure every home in the country has access to a mosquito net by the end of 2012.
Aloe is sharing his story with people across the world from today through an in depth blog in Huffington Post (read it here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/aloe-blacc), and feature interviews with Sir David Frost on Aljazeera, also on CNN this weekend and the BBC World Service’s breakfast show on World Malaria Day, 25th April.
The film features highlights of Aloe’s trip including the news that up to 10 million people, 40% of Ghana’s population now have access to mosquito nets. It includes a special moment when Aloe meets a class of school children who have all suffered from malaria and together they sing his anthem of the times I Need A Dollar. Aloe recalls: “I visited a primary school and asked a classroom full of children: Who in the room has been affected by malaria? Every single child raised their hand. I was taken aback - this should not be the norm. Malaria is a preventable disease, yet it is robbing children of their health and opportunity for education.”
This World Malaria Day, Aloe is encouraging people to get involved with the charity challenge called Live Below the Line (http://bit.ly/IaqP8A). It invites people to get sponsored for charities, including Malaria No More UK, by living on just £1 a day for all food and drink for five days from 7-11 May. Aloe reflects: “As I sang I Need A Dollar with school children in Ghana, the lyrics took on a poignant new meaning. One dollar is close to the daily survival budget for 1.4 billion people in the world today, who live on this for absolutely everything. They really can’t afford to catch malaria. Live Below the Line is an imaginative and personal way to do something positive to address this”.
Aloe saw firsthand the importance of partnerships and education in maintaining the momentum to fight malaria. He says: “I’d read a lot about the life saving role of mosquito nets and was eager to see them in action. These nets, distributed with support from Malaria No More UK and partners will help reduce the number of people suffering from malaria, especially when people are educated about how to use and care for them properly”.
Malaria No More UK is part of a network of local and global organisations supporting malaria prevention efforts Ghana, including Ghana’s own National Malaria Control Program, the UK’s Department for International Development, the US’s President’s Malaria Initiative and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. This partnership has already distributed and hung over five million mosquito nets across five regions of Ghana, helping to protect up to 10 million people.
The last decade has seen unprecedented progress in reducing suffering and death from malaria, especially in Africa where over 90% of all deaths take place yet deaths have been reduced by one third since 2000. This progress will make a real difference in reducing poverty across the continent as malaria costs the African economy an estimated £8 billion a year.