David Beckham’s fight against malaria continues after the footballing icon let the world know of his partnership with Zero Malaria, a charity organization to help the world defeat the parasitic disease.
As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Beckham in the past has played a crucial role in raising awareness about the impacts of malaria on communities, especially children in developing countries.
Malaria is a notable life-threatening parasitic disease spread from the bite of an Anopheles mosquito. Prevalent in the tropical and subtropical regions, the disease is known to have infected over 200 million people, causing more than 400,000 deaths, with 67% of them being children under the age of 5, as per the WHO in 2019.
David Beckham’s involvement in the fight against malaria began in 2005 when he visited Angola with UNICEF. During his visit, Beckham firsthand witnessed the devastating effects of the disease on children and families, which motivated him to become more involved in malaria eradication efforts. Following his trip, Beckham became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and launched the “Malaria No More UK” campaign in 2009, aimed at raising awareness and funds to fight malaria.
The infamous campaign featured some of the most innovative ideas being laid out in its promotional footage. The ‘Malaria No More’ campaign saw David Beckham speak in 9 different languages to spread his message and call on world leaders to take action on malaria. Another promotional clip from the same campaign featured a digitally-aged Beckham in his 70s, calling for the riches to invest in ending malaria.
Aimed to bring together government, business, and public support to fight malaria, with Beckham serving as the face of the campaign, the campaign focused on raising funds to provide mosquito nets and other essential malaria prevention and treatment tools to children and families in sub-Saharan Africa. Beckham’s involvement in the campaign raised public awareness of the disease and inspired people to support malaria eradication efforts.
The charity has now raised +$4bn from prominent backers including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to execute on its mission.
In addition to the “Malaria No More UK” campaign, Beckham has also participated in other malaria eradication efforts, including the Roll Back Malaria Partnership. The partnership is a global effort to coordinate and scale up malaria prevention and treatment efforts worldwide. Beckham has been a vocal supporter of the partnership, advocating for increased funding for malaria eradication efforts and the need for more effective malaria control measures.
Through his work with the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Beckham has helped to increase access to essential malaria prevention and treatment tools in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2016, he launched a campaign to distribute life-saving mosquito nets to children in Tanzania. The campaign, which was a partnership between UNICEF, the Tanzanian government, and other organizations, aimed to distribute more than two million nets to children and their families.
The campaign was a huge success, helping to protect millions of children from malaria. Beckham’s involvement helped to raise awareness of the campaign and inspired people to take action. His advocacy for increased funding for malaria eradication efforts also helped to secure funding for the campaign and other malaria prevention and treatment programs.
In addition to the Roll Back Malaria campaign, Beckham’s another key involvement was the one with Malaria Must Die initiative, which aims to rally support for the fight against malaria and raise awareness of the importance of continued investment in malaria control programs. The campaign, which launched in 2018, has seen Beckham take on the role of “Malaria Ambassador” and work with a range of partners to raise awareness of the campaign and encourage people to get involved.
Continuing on his efforts, the former Real Madrid and Manchester United icon has now shaken hands with RBM Partnership to promote the campaign ‘Zero Malaria’, a grassroots campaign running since 2014 that aims to keep malaria high on the political agenda, mobilize additional resources, and empower communities to take ownership of malaria prevention and care.
Beckham’s involvement in the fight against malaria has been a shining example of how public figures can use their platform to drive positive change. His advocacy for increased funding for malaria eradication efforts, coupled with his involvement in campaigns aimed at raising awareness about the disease, has contributed to the decline in malaria-related deaths. His work has also helped to inspire others to get involved in global health initiatives and to raise awareness about the importance of investing in global health.
As per reports from Zero Malaria, the world saw a 185 million decline in malaria infections in the year 2021, suggesting how Beckham’s efforts, combined with the similar efforts of millions, have helped the world slowly tackle the life-threatening disease.
Following his retirement, David Beckham has consistently been involved with numerous organizations, aiming to find cures for diseases or prevent them in order to make the planet a better place to be. Apart from Malaria, the Briton has also supported efforts to combat HIV/AIDS. He has worked with the Elton John AIDS Foundation and has spoken out about the importance of testing and treatment for those affected by the disease. Beckham has also been an advocate for children’s health, particularly in the area of nutrition.