Osas Ighodaro: fighting to end malaria for her sister
Actress Osas Ighodaro lost her dear sister to malaria in 2006. Since that day, Osas has made ending malaria her mission.
Nigerian-American acress Osas Ighodaro had not come close to malaria living in the US. When she returned to Nigeria everything changed. Her sister, who was expecting a child, fell very ill with malaria and was unable to overcome it.
"My sister passed away from malaria back in 2006 and it’s a devastating thing to go through... It didn’t make sense that I was losing my sister and her unborn child to a disease that is simple to prevent and easy to treat."
Osas points out people often do not take malaria seriously enough -- despite 600,000 lives being lost every year. "Unfortunately, we can look at it as the common cold, like it’s not that serious. But it’s a very, very serious issue. 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."
Osas has campaigned tirelessly to end malaria in her sister’s memory and set up the Joyful Joy Foundation, dedicated to transforming lives, one community at a time across Africa with a focus on ending malaria. Osas is determined to make sure malaria is taken seriously by the public and world leaders. By uniting we can drive action, innovation and get the funding we need to achieve Zero Malaria within our lifetimes.
"It’s all about eliminating malaria, and when it comes to that issue I’m always going to be there. I use the thoughts and the memory of my sister to push forward."
Osas understands the importance of people power, by joining the Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign she is hoping to inspire a new generation to drive unstoppable action so we can all live in a zero malaria world.
"This is a solvable problem and an inspiring campaign. As we empower young people across Africa, we will see the change in attitudes and behaviours and I hope we’ll see bold political action. 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."
If you want to be part of the generation calling on world leaders to end malaria, Draw The Line Against Malaria today and share the campaign. Together we’re unstoppable.