Andy Murray says it's #AllToPlayFor in the fight to defeat malaria
The Fight In sport, no match is won without dedication, strategy and perseverance. And these qualities have helped drive the huge progress in the fight against malaria - a fight I have supported for more than six years.
Thanks to a massive global effort, involving the UK public, government, businesses and scientists, we’ve made unprecedented progress with child deaths slashed by half in the last ten years – saving some 4.3 million lives between 2001 and 2013! This is the result of fantastic leadership and increased financial commitment, making more prevention (including mosquito nets), better diagnosis of the disease and treatment that works possible. Something that we can be really proud of as our battle against one of the world’s oldest diseases is something we could win - what a victory that would be.
Photo: Malaria No More
But we are only half way there in the fight against malaria, and we only have half the financial resources needed. What happens next will decide which way the fight goes. With continued commitment and enough funding, we will be able to continue the work that is saving and changing lives every day. But if we don’t there is a real risk that this hard-won progress could be undone or even worse, reversed.
I know it is essential to look back on the lessons that can be learnt in anything we do. In the fight against malaria, when funding has been reduced or stopped many countries have seen the disease return with a vengeance. We cannot afford to stand still or let any ground slip when so many lives and futures are at stake.
When it costs less than £1 to treat and save a child’s life, no one needs to die from a mosquito bite.
Making sure that we get the job done will help people like Maurine, a widow who lives in Southwest Kenya with her two daughters. They face the threat of malaria every single day - 1 in 6 children in Maurine’s community will not live to see their 5th birthday. This is why we can’t stop now.
The record-breaking progress we’ve seen is exciting, and even more are some of the truly game-changing developments on the horizon, like new treatments and the potential for world’s first malaria vaccine. Programmes and support on the ground in countries most at risk are making the difference between life and death, giving children and their families the chances that we all deserve.
This is why I think it’s all to play for in the fight against malaria. And when this disease kills a child every minute, it’s a fight none of us can afford to lose. So please join me and play your part in a winning team to help make malaria no more.