…Nigerian Bobsledder and track star Seun Adigun joins fight against malaria
By Etop Ekanem and Benjamin Njoku
To keep the malaria fight alive during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new team of global influencers are joining with youth champions behind the Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaign to inspire awareness and action this World Mosquito Day.
Leading athletes from Africa and beyond, 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 international 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 still kills an average of over 400,000 people annually with over 90 percent of them in Africa.
Dr. Abdourahmane Diallo, CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, says: “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.”