The women leading the fight against malaria
Malaria, this International Women’s Day the gloves are off – we’re taking our futures back.
Women from across Africa and the globe are leading the fight for zero malaria with passion, commitment and hard work. They are proving that when we come together, we can Draw The Line and end this deadly disease within a generation.
Right now, across Africa, women and girls are still unfairly affected by malaria, They are more vulnerable to the impacts of the disease and experience unique adverse ripple effects of malaria that result in significant and long term health and economic costs.
Pregnant women are also one of the most at-risk groups when it comes to malaria. 1 in 3 pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa getting malaria during pregnancy, which can lead to life-threatening illnesses for themselves and the newborn baby.
But, we’re fighting back
To celebrate International Women’s Day and those fighting malaria, we have launched a special Draw The Line Against Malaria film putting a spotlight on some of the boldest women involved.
South African Explorer Saray Khumalo
As a world-class South African explorer and mountaineer, Saray Khumalo has reached great heights and made a name for herself in becoming the first black African woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Saray is now using her powerful voice to unite women across the world to help reach zero malaria.
“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”.
The threat of malaria is real
For Dr Folashade Olugbemi-Paul the risk of malaria in pregnancy is all too real, so she’s dedicated her career to providing vital care for those suffering from it. During her own pregnancy, Folashade was admitted to the hospital twice after contracting the deadly disease, which put her life and the life of her child at risk. As a doctor, woman and mother, she is aware of the daily risks' women face when dealing with malaria.
“I've been admitted twice for malaria in this pregnancy. I couldn't believe that I had malaria because I hadn’t tested positive for malaria in over 10 years and I was taking the necessary precautions. Pregnant women are one of the most at-risk groups for malaria… It can cause you to have a miscarriage, your baby could be born with congenital malaria. Also spending a long time in the hospital, It’s also uncomfortable… I was not happy!”
With women like Saray and Dr Folashade and a global effort, we can overcome the challenges and malaria’s gender divide. Together we can protect the lives of everyone, especially pregnant women and the future of millions of children.