The 19-year-old fighting to end malaria in her lifetime
Priscilla became a malaria youth advocate in Ghana after falling sick, leaving her no choice but to quit her job. Join her and Draw The Line Against Malaria.
Priscilla, aged 19, Ghana
It’s a familiar story. You ache, you shiver, you feel a fever coming on. Most likely another bout of malaria. Many of us just accept it. It’s always been there, right? We feel sick for a week, sometimes really sick, spending our days see-sawing between bed and bathroom.
When this familiar occurrence happened to Priscilla, from Accra, Ghana, she refused to accept this preventable and treatable disease as something she, or anyone else, should live with. And we don’t have to. The tools to stop it are at our fingertips, which is why young people like Priscilla are speaking up and taking action.
In 2019, Priscilla was too sick to go to work. Being in a fairly new job, she was reluctant to go to the hospital to get treated and risk being off work for so long.
But as the weeks went on, Priscilla felt worse and worse, and her new boss grew less and less understanding. With just Priscilla and her mum at home, things got difficult:
“It really put a lot of financial constraints on my family – especially my mother, because I live with a single mother – so it was really tough on our pockets … We have to buy medications ... and they were also really expensive ... at that time it was a really bad situation for me and my family as a whole.”
When Priscilla got better she decided enough was enough. She applied to be a youth advocate for Results UK via a Comic Relief funded project.
Upon being accepted for the programme, Priscilla received advocacy training and now works to rally local authorities and government to unlock funds to fight malaria.
“I have seen the deaths that go on, especially because of malaria, and … how people don’t consider this disease to be necessary to go to the hospital to check up and all that … I want people to know that the sooner they get to the hospital, the better their chances of cutting down financial costs and living longer as well ... I have [now] gotten the necessary training to be able to advocate for domestic resources in malaria in my country.”
Priscilla is one of many malaria youth advocates around the world who sees how the disease is holding Africa back.
That’s why she’s taken the time to feature in the Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign launch film: because she sees the potential of a world without malaria.
"We would have fewer deaths, especially with children and also with pregnant women. The financial lives of people would improve maximally. The productivity of human resources would shoot up, because people are always taking leaves from work."