Making Malaria No More
This time last week, we concluded a month-long campaign to help raise awareness of the international effort towards ending malaria, on behalf of the UK charity Malaria No More UK, whose small but dedicated team worked so hard to help campaign and fundraise for malaria efforts ahead of World Malaria Day on Monday 25th April.
Malaria No More UK’s Executive Director spent 48 hours giving no less than 17 individual broadcast interviews. The Archbishop of Canterbury and Congo, Dr Rowan Williams, spoke out on BBC World Service, and UN Special Envoy Ray Chambers announced that malaria has become the number one cause on Twitter and Facebook with audiences of more than 200 million worldwide. Back in the UK, celebrity supporters David Beckham, Andy Murray and MTV presenter Alice Levine tweeted and blogged about the cause, and even the Malaria No More UK mascot, Mozzy Man, got in on the action with a ‘Swat the Mozzy’ online game and a special appearance during half time for a Liverpool Game at Anfield. The communications team put together an innovative campaign Music to Save Lives with MTV to reach younger and music savvy audiences, by offering festival ticket giveaways. The project became ‘Digital Campaign of the Week’ on Third Sector. Finally, the world’s biggest jazz station, Jazz FM, ran a weekend of programming highlighting the work of Malaria No More UK and featuring specially curated music from Africa.
But perhaps the most unusual story came from a research assistant Patricia Aiyenuro, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. As part of her work, Patricia allows a swarm of mosquitos to drink her blood, all in the name of science. Interviewed by The Sun, she says, “Some people might think it’s the worst job in the world, but I love it. I feel like I’m doing something worthwhile.” It’s a touching, and humorous example of the range of effort in the UK helping to make malaria no more.