British singer and TV personality Cheryl Cole was diagnosed with malaria — picked up while she was vacationing in Tanzania recently — over the weekend. She’s expected to make a full recovery, largely because she was treated quickly after her symptoms appeared, and got that treatment at a top London hospital. She began to feel weak after returning from her trip (she went with her boyfriend, Dancing With the Stars’ Derek Hough), and by Sunday night was “sweating and shaking and in a bad way,” said a friend. That’s when she began receiving medication.
She’s one of the lucky ones. Nearly one million people die every year from malaria. David Beckham, celebrity dad and soccer star, knows that fact well.
Malaria, a blood disease transmitted by mosquitoes, is especially deadly to children and extremely prevalent in Africa, where a child dies from the disease every 45 seconds.
That’s a stunning statistic. Think about it. One child dies from malaria every 45 seconds.
David Beckham has clearly thought about it. He’s one of the high-profile celebs who supports Malaria No More, a New York-based non-profit founded in 2006 with the aim of ending malaria deaths and educating American citizens and politicians about the disease. “Our direct investments have helped mobilize 15 million mosquito nets to protect 30 million African mothers and their children from malaria,” the group’s website says.
The tools for fighting malaria are available, it’s just a matter of funding, and getting them where they’re needed. “It’s truly incredible to think we can stop this killer disease forever and it’s such a simple thing to do,” says Beckham. “For less than a cost of a football you can protect a family from dying.”
You can donate to Malaria No More at www.malarianomore.org.
PHOTO: INF Photo