Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new youth-focused creative campaign powered by African stars launches today to ‘draw the line’ against malaria, one of humanity’s oldest and deadliest diseases.
The Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign is fronted by a team of changemakers coming together to inspire young people from across the African continent and the globe to call on their leaders at zeromalaria.org and push for political action to end malaria within a generation.
The campaign launches exactly four months ahead of the Kigali Summit on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, being held on the eve of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda on 24th June. The Summit is a milestone moment in the malaria fight and enabler of game changing political decisions including delivering the commitment to halve malaria across the Commonwealth by 2023.
The Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign, which supports the growing Zero Malaria Starts with Me movement, reflects the energy, talent, and cultural influence emanating from the African continent with references to art, fashion, music, sport, and entertainment. The campaign combines an interactive digital platform at zeromalaria.org and is brought to life through a powerful film highlighting young people taking charge of their lives and refusing to allow malaria to steal their futures.
Kenyan athlete and Olympic Gold Medallist Eliud Kipchoge says: “I believe in the power of human potential and our ability to change the world, because no human is limited. Malaria has no place in our lives today. This disease has stolen from us for too long, stopping people from working and children from going to school. Even now, malaria is still taking the life of a young child every two minutes. We can change this, we can overtake this preventable, treatable disease and end it in my lifetime. Join me and let’s draw the line against malaria once and for all.”
DRAW THE LINE AGAINST MALARIA CAMPAIGN FILM FEATURES A COALITION OF STARS AND MALARIA CHAMPIONS
The campaign is supported by a host of high-level global talent from Africa including:
- Dr Omotola J Ekeinde, Nigerian actress and philanthropist
- Osas Ighodaro, Nigerian American actress and producer
- Saray Khumalo, South African explorer
- Eliud Kipchoge, Kenyan athlete, Olympic Gold-medallist and marathon world record-holder
- Siya Kolisi, Captain of the Springboks, South Africa’s World Cup winning rugby team
- Láolú Senbanjo, Nigerian Artist
- Sherrie Silver, award-winning Rwandan British choreographer
Acclaimed Nigerian music video director Meji Alabi directed the campaign film which will be rolled out on channels and platforms across Africa. In the film, the stars are joined by global artist Láolú Senbanjo, and a team of malaria community champions who feature in different scenes to tell the human story of malaria and the devastating impact it has on their education, employment, health, and prospects.
With 74% of Africans now aged under 35, the youth contingent are powerful agents of change and the campaign represents a rallying cry for them to step up action in the fight against malaria which claims the life of a child every two minutes.
MUUNDO – BUILDING A NEW MOVEMENT AGAINST MALARIA
At the heart of the campaign is a fresh new universal visual language made up of lines, symbols, and patterns, the ‘Muundo,’ created by Láolú Senbanjo, global artist from Nigeria and Art Director for the Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign.
The language is a beautiful, eye-catching visual representation of the actions that are needed to end malaria once and for all within a generation from cutting-edge technology and innovations to increased investment and bold political actions.
The campaign asks people everywhere to visit zeromalaria.org and add a personal line of Muundo art to a growing piece of crowdsourced artwork which represents a visual call to action to world leaders. The artwork will be shared with leaders at the Malaria and NTDs Summit on 24 June 2021.
Láolú Senbanjo says: “Malaria is something that millions of people across Africa have to deal with. We know the amount of time malaria steals from our lives. That’s why I’m honored to be using my art, the Sacred Art of the Ori, to create the Muundo, the world’s first malaria language as a fresh expression of our opportunity to end this disease. Join me, draw your own line next to mine as a symbol of support for Zero Malaria.”
Daniël Sytsma, Chief Design Officer, Isobar & Creative, dentsu says: “We worked with creators and makers from across Africa to design this campaign as a movement, one that celebrates the creativity and positivity from a generation that is ready to claim their future. With the Muundo we want to provide young people with the tools and the language to deliver a powerful message.”
NOW IS THE TIME TO DRAW THE LINE AGAINST MALARIA AND RECOMMIT TO A ZERO MALARIA FUTURE
The Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign launches against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although 90% of life-saving malaria prevention campaigns were delivered as planned in 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that disruption to malaria diagnosis and treatment could lead to thousands of additional deaths across the African continent.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic half of the world’s population were already living with the threat of malaria and, despite promising progress since the beginning of the millennium, the parasite is fighting back. Indeed, the most recent WHO World Malaria Report, shows that now is not the time to step away with 229 million new infections and over 400,000 malaria deaths reported in 2019. The vast majority of these deaths are young children under five across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr Abdourahmane Diallo, CEO of RBM Partnership to End Malaria says: “Countries held the line on malaria during 2020 – and this year we must draw the line for good. Long-time investments in the malaria fight continue to pay dividends and are pulling double duty during the pandemic. By strengthening our health care systems, we can better respond to both new and existing health threats.
“Together, we can end malaria, and today’s youth can be the generation that rids the world of this ancient and deadly disease and achieves a malaria free future for all. Today, we must all draw the line against malaria and recommit to achieving zero malaria in Africa and around the world.”
Unifying communities and leaders everywhere, the Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign aims to inspire a new generation to join the Zero Malaria Starts With Me movement, supporting the African Union’s (AU) Catalytic Framework to end AIDS, TB, and Eliminate Malaria in Africa by 2030, and ALMA’s Malaria Youth Army.
Dr Elvis Ikechukwu Eze, a young medical doctor and malaria youth champion from Nigeria says: “In terms of inequality, we know that malaria prevents more children from going to school than you can imagine. Getting an education is the first step to success and a good life. Malaria continues to deprive Africa of its prosperity and economic potential. The more we make efforts to eradicate malaria now, the more our future will be preserved in many ways.
“If my generation looks around, they will see how malaria affects them. We must unite to defeat this disease once and for all. We can educate ourselves, inform our friends and work within our communities to get rid of them locally. We must ensure that no avenue is overlooked to eradicate malaria.”
The Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign was created by dentsu International, who led the creative strategy, concept, production, and media, and developed by a coalition of agencies, including the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), the African Union Commission, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Impact Santé Afrique, Malaria No More UK, RBM Partnership to End Malaria and Speak Up Africa.
NOTES TO EDITORS
*Spokespeople are available for interview
ADDITIONAL TALENT QUOTES:
Siya Kolisi, Captain of the Springboks, South Africa’s World Cup winning rugby team, says: “Every child, every young person deserves the chance to step into their potential. This is a world changing campaign and we have the opportunity to protect the futures of millions of children across Africa. My message to young people is to get excited and to get involved because this is one disease we can end within a generation. Together we stand and say: Malaria: We’re too strong for you.”
Dr Omotola J Ekeinde, Nigerian actress and philanthropist, says: “It would be incredible if we could end malaria in Africa, I have known this disease my whole life. It breaks my heart that Nigeria is so affected with over 250 lives lost here every single day. This campaign is a moment for us to unite in determination and action, it’s time to take our futures back.”
Sherrie Silver, award-winning Rwandan British choreographer, says: “I lost my nine-year-old cousin to malaria and at that moment my life changed. Ending malaria became a personal mission for me. It is not acceptable that in this day and age malaria remains a huge killer of children. I’m proud to be a part of this campaign which is building up to a critical leadership moment in June when my home country Rwanda will host a Global Summit on Malaria and NTDs at the time of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.”
Meji Alabi, Nigerian film director, says: “This campaign is a beautiful opportunity to change the narrative and to show off the infectious energy, talent and inspiration coming out of Africa right now. From art, to music, culture, and fashion – the influence and creativity is palpable. It’s refreshing to talk about the world’s oldest disease in a new way and to focus on young people because our actions today will help transform their futures. Being Nigerian myself I’ve lost a lot of loved ones to malaria and it is time for this to change.”
Osas Ighodaro, Nigerian American actress says: “This is a cause very close to my heart. My sister was expecting her baby in 2006 and she caught malaria and was not able to overcome it…it was a devastating time. Right now, 1 in 3 pregnant women suffer from malaria in sub-Saharan Africa – this is a human problem because malaria can be beaten if we unite together. This campaign is a moment for change and I fully believe in my heart, we will see and celebrate the day when malaria is no more.”
Saray Khumalo, South African explorer, says: “Ending malaria will change the course of humanity for good, forever. I grew up living with malaria in DRC and Zambia, so I know how devastating this disease is. Malaria is a human problem that is entirely preventable so we can all be involved helping to solve it. South Africa is a great example of a country where malaria elimination is within our grasp.”
About the Zero Malaria Starts With Me movement and Draw The Line campaign:
- In 2018 the world came together to demand urgent action against malaria. Zero Malaria Starts with Me was launched by African Union leaders and in communities and countries across Africa, and 53 Heads of Government came together to commit to halve malaria in the Commonwealth by 2023.
- The movement has generated community Zero Malaria champions supporting national End Malaria Funds to drive private sector investment. Others have established parliamentary groups to advocate for greater action and resources to fight malaria.
- The next few years are critical to reach out 2030 targets. In 2021 we will inspire a new generation to join the Zero Malaria Starts With Me movement with the fresh new Draw the Line Against Malaria campaign, creating a unifying, ground-breaking and inspiring global platform which will capture youth and public imagination, and rally communities and leaders. The campaign aims to generate mass awareness and high visibility for the Zero Malaria Starts with Me movement across malaria-affected countries and beyond.
- On the 22 February Viacom CBS Networks Africa announced that it was joining forces with the ZMSWM movement and supporting the Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign.
- Part of dentsu, dentsu international is made up of leadership brands - Carat, dentsu X, iProspect, Isobar, dentsumcgarrybowen and Merkle and supported by its specialist brands. Dentsu International helps clients to win, keep and grow their best customers and achieve meaningful progress for their businesses. With best-in-class services and solutions in media, CXM, and creative, dentsu international operates in over 145 markets worldwide with more than 46,000 dedicated specialists.
- dentsu’s partnership with Malaria No More UK is part of its Social Impact strategy and commitment to the United Nations to use the power of media and advertising to drive delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals. https://www.dentsu.com/
- Global partners: the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), the African Union (AU), The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Impact Santé Afrique, dentsu International, Malaria No More UK, RBM Partnership to End Malaria and Speak Up Africa
- Supporting Partners: Goodbye Malaria, Rentokil Initial, Restless Development. Results, Sanofi, Target Malaria, and ViacomCBS Networks Africa
- Broadcast partner: DStv
- Creative & Brand Strategy: dentsu International
- Main campaign film: Black Dog (part of Ridley Scott Creative Group), JM Films, DentsuACHTUNG!, Láolú NYC, Daniel Obasi, Ugo Mozie, Wave, Trim Editing, TSE, Big Buoy.
- Behind the Scenes film: Fiksa, Dafe Oboro, Mark Pengelly, Nicole Eveleigh
- Digital: Isobar, Firstborn, Facebook
- Media: Carat, iProspect
Performed by Tshegue
Written & composed by Faty Sy Savanet and Nicolas Dacunha-Castelle
℗ 2017 Dakou Studios under exclusive license to EOS Records
© EOS Publishing & Dakou Studios - 2017
Courtesy of Ekler'o'shock and Dakou Studios
SPOTLIGHT ON MALARIA
2021 – A Key Year for Malaria:
Two decades of partnership and global commitment have led to transformative progress against malaria preventing 1.5 billion cases, cutting deaths by more than 60 per cent and saving more than 7.6 million lives since 2000 – this represents millions of children who have grown up to lead happy and productive lives. At the beginning of 2020 mortality rates were at the lowest point ever, but the world has changed since then.
A remarkable collective effort across Africa has enabled countries to fight back, with more than 90% of malaria prevention campaigns moving forward in 2020 without major delay, but the rapid spread of COVID-19 this year has further threatened to disrupt malaria progress. The World Health Organisation is warning that disruption to malaria diagnosis and treatment caused by COVID-19 could lead to thousands of additional deaths.
Looking Towards a Malaria-Free Future:
Experts convened by the World Health Organisation (WHO) agree that malaria eradication is likely to save millions of lives and billions of dollars.
In 2019 The Lancet Commission on malaria eradication – made up of leading scientists from around the world – found that if we focus efforts on strengthening leadership, increasing investment, prioritising research and innovation, including the development of new tools, and implementing smart, data driven programmes, ending malaria is possible within a generation. Decisions made now by global political leaders – backed by strong public support - will determine this trajectory.
Already, more countries than ever are within reach of elimination, with Algeria and Argentina both certified malaria-free in 2019, but every country should be able to reap the benefits of zero malaria. We must act now to create a fairer future that leaves no one behind.
About global action to eliminate malaria:
- In 2018, global investment and action saved almost 600,000 lives and prevented almost 100 million malaria cases compared to 2000. Despite these gains, malaria cases and deaths remain unacceptably high and concentrated in 19 countries.
- In the last two years leaders across the world renewed their commitment and united to fight against malaria:
- In April 2018 53 Heads of Government committed to halve malaria in the Commonwealth by 2023
- Governments, science, and the private sector added their support pledging $4.1 billion to accelerate research and development of new tools for the malaria fight and expand access to life-saving tools.
- In July 2018, 55 leaders of the African Union launched the pan-African Zero Malaria Starts with Me movement, co-led by the RBM Partnership to End Malaria and the African Union Commission empowering communities to take greater action to accelerate malaria elimination across Africa.
- In just over a year 10 countries have unveiled campaigns and more than 20 countries – including malaria-affected countries beyond Africa such as India – are getting ready to step up the fight.
- In October 2019, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the leading source of malaria funding globally, was successfully replenished with $14bn.
- Despite enormous progress, nearly half the world is still at risk from malaria, which killed 409,000 people in 2020 —almost two thirds are children under five.
- Africa carries the greatest malaria burden in the world, with 94% of all cases and deaths.
- A child dies from malaria every two minutes – 700 children a day.
- Six countries account for over 50% of malaria deaths. Nigeria (23%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (11%), United Republic of Tanzania (5%), Burkina Faso (4%), Mozambique (4%) and Niger (4%).
- Women and children are disproportionately affected by malaria: 2/3 of all malaria deaths are children under five, and 1 in 3 pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa suffers from malaria.
- Africa has the fastest growing youth population in the world – at a time when young people are facing unpreceded challenges from COVID-19, malaria steals time, work, salaries, education, and futures.
- We know ending malaria is possible. Sustained global efforts over the last two decades have saved over seven million lives and prevented more than 1.5 billion cases. Half the world is malaria-free and at the start of 2020, pre COVID-19 malaria deaths were at the lowest point ever.
- Since 2000, 21 countries reported zero indigenous malaria cases for three consecutive years. In Africa this includes Morocco (2010) and Algeria (2019).