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Health

Hugh Laurie and 'Wallace and Gromit' Creators Join Forces to Take on Malaria

Actor Hugh Laurie has teamed up with the creators of “Wallace and Gromit” for a short film aiming to amp up the fight against malaria. 

Aardman Animations created the character “Mozzie the Mosquito” to star in the film, called “Malaria Must Die, So Millions Can Live.”

It calls on world leaders to step up financial investment and political will in order to stamp out the killer disease once and for all. 

Take action: Let's End This Deadly Disease!

“We are at risk of losing hard won progress due to plateauing funding, growing resistance, and declining political will,” said James Whiting, executive director of Malaria No More UK, which is behind the film.

“We know how to better treat, test, and track the disease and we must act now to end this deadly killer for good,” he said. 

The film charts malaria’s history dating back to the dinosaurs, via China, ancient Egypt, and the Roman Empire, to the modern day — where the chance to eliminate it is well within reach.

Read more: Bill Gates Just Pledged $31 Million to Fight Malaria in Latin America

“For every $1 spent on ending the disease, there’s a benefit of $36 thanks to fewer kids and adults missing school or work,” says “House” actor Laurie in the film, which calls for “smarter tools and faster investment to beat the disease once and for all.”

“We have the power to consign malaria to the history books,” he says, “and we know what will happen if we don’t.” 

Global Citizen campaigns on eradicating malaria and other preventable diseases that disproportionately affect the world’s poorest people. Combatting malaria is one of our key campaign aims in the run-up to the Commonwealth Summit, which is being held in London in April. 

Read more: Why Global Citizen Live in London Is a Big Deal for Gender Equality, Health, Nutrition, Education, and More

You can join us by taking action against malaria, and earning free tickets to our event at O2 Academy Brixton on April 17. Find out all about our campaigns and how to earn tickets by taking action here

The world has already made enormous progress in combatting malaria. Globally, we’ve cut the number of deaths by 60% since 2000 — saving around 7 million lives, according to Malaria No More

But the disease continues to devastate communities in the world’s poorest countries, and around half of the world’s population is still at risk. 

Those most vulnerable to the mosquito-borne disease include pregnant women, newborns, and children under five — with a child currently dying from malaria every two minutes. 

Read more: The Most Dangerous Diseases You've Never Heard of

Despite the great effort — with cases falling from 262 million worldwide in 2000 to 221 million in 2015 — progress has now slowed. 

It is still one of Africa’s biggest killers, which sees around 90% of cases. In fact, Commonwealth countries are disproportionately affected by the disease — which is why it’s so vital for leaders of Commonwealth countries to address it at the summit in April. 

The UK’s Secretary for International Development, Penny Mordaunt has also spoken out about the necessity of the Commonwealth addressing malaria, at a reception at the Houses of Parliament to mark Commonwealth Day on Monday. 

“We know malaria still causes one out of 10 child deaths in Africa and costs its economies billions every year,” she said. “We also know progress and reducing malaria cases has stalled, which is why it is so important it is discussed at this year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.”

Read more: Why 53 World Leaders Are About to Descend on London

“The UK is a leader in the fight against malaria and has been for many years,” she said. “We are the second largest international funder in the world and invest in treatment, prevention, and research, including fighting against the threat of drug resistance.”

Global Citizen campaigns to achieve the UN’s Global Goals, which include action on health and well-being. You can join us in our campaign to improve healthcare for the world’s most vulnerable people by taking action here