Malaria No More UK is to be the beneficiary charity from ITV’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! The flagship show returns to TV screens this November with 15p from every phone vote being donated to help save lives in Africa where malaria is a leading killer of young children.
This is the fourth year running of ITV’s partnership with Malaria No More UK, which is making a lasting and life changing impact in Ghana, West Africa where the entire population is is at risk of malaria. Funds raised through phone voting during the last three series are helping Ghana achieve its historic goal to make sure every home in need, has life-saving mosquito nets by the end of 2012.
Here’s what the celebrities have to say about getting involved in the campaign…
My daughter Kiki and I are incredibly close and this is the longest time we’ve ever been apart. We took time out together to travel to Tanzania 18 months ago, she was six and it was the first time she saw the impact of malaria, it’s just so common out there. We spent time in schools and met many young children and whole families whose lives were torn apart by malaria. It was heartbreaking but I want her to know what’s happening in the world – malaria is so widespread and especially affects Mums and young children”.
“We’re so lucky in the UK, we’ve got doctors, education and treatment all at our disposal but in Africa so many people don’t. To know that a child dies every minute from malaria is really distressing. My first grandchild is just eight months old, and as much as I love her, that’s what every mother and grandmother feels about their child or grandchild. Every child deserves the best possible chance in life.”
“I’m used to training for big fights against tough opponents, so it’s strange to think that a tiny mosquito can potentially do me more damage than a heavyweight boxer”
“I’ve not been to Africa as darts isn’t big over there. What did hit me though is that for the price of a set of darts, you can also save a life from malaria. That’s got to be target worth aiming for.”
Reflecting on the fact that malaria is one of the world’s oldest diseases and contemplating what Dr Who’s attitude would be, Colin says: “What the Doctor has failed to do is to get a cure for malaria and take it back in time, which is what I am sure he would have done, had he thought of it!”
“I have close, personal experience of malaria at the sharp end. I lived and worked in Zambia as a nurse and saw many people suffer. I also knew people who died from malaria, one of my best friends went through hell and lost her three month old baby to the disease, it was incredibly distressing, especially as malaria is preventable.”
“I’ve never been to Africa but would absolutely love to go and see how ITV’s support is helping save lives. Many of my friends in Coronation Street have been and had an amazing time. I feel really grateful I’ve got the chance to help out through being in the show, I’m just going to be myself and look forward to making lots of friends”.
When reflecting on how he will encourage people to vote for him and help save lives from malaria, Hugo says: “I want people to see my sensitive side, I’m naturally empathetic and intend to be a helpful and caring jungle camp mate. It’s great to know that while we’re having fun in the jungle, and facing our fears, we’re also helping save lives from malaria”.
Brian reflects on how fun in the jungle in Australia is also helping make a big difference in Africa: “While we’re being shoved in coffins with dirty rats running all over us, at least we’ll know we’re helping save lives. I’m fully expecting some curve balls and I’m up for it and hope to be last person in camp to say I’m a celebrity, get me out of here!” .
“Looking and feeling fit and healthy is such an important part of life for me. I think it is devastating that in parts of Africa, women’s chances to live a healthy life are cut short, through no fault of their own, because of a preventable but debilitating disease like malaria”.
I’m A Celebrity kicks off this Sunday. Check out who’s going in and all the latest spoilers here!