The 25th of April is World Malaria Day and this year we look at the successful partnership between Relate Bracelets and Goodbye Malaria.
South Africa (23 April 2021) – With World Malaria Day upon us, the good news is that a growing number of countries have succeeded in drastically reducing or even eliminating malaria. But the battle is far from won, with hundreds of thousands of people still losing their lives to the disease every year.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 26 of the total 87 countries with malaria reported fewer than 10 000 cases of the disease in 2020, a significant improvement on the 46 from 2019. By the end of 2020, 24 countries had reported interrupting malaria transmission for three years or more. Of these, 11 were certified malaria-free.
COVID-19 emerged as a serious challenge to malaria responses worldwide. Since the early days of the pandemic, the WHO specifically urged countries to maintain essential health services, including for malaria, while ensuring that communities and health workers were protected from COVID-19 transmission.
Sherwin Charles, CEO and co-founder of Goodbye Malaria, remains optimistic about the organisation’s target of eliminating malaria in Mozambique by 2030, but warns that regular investment by authorities is needed in order to eliminate the disease. Goodbye Malaria has been spearheading the eradication of malaria for the past nine years, in alliance with health and government organisations, celebrities, individuals and prominent sports teams.
Relate Bracelets works in partnership with Goodbye Malaria to raise much-needed funds for elimination efforts in southern Africa. Since 2009, sales of the handmade beaded bracelets in support of this cause have raised R11.6 million towards tackling the disease.
Relate CEO Neil Robinson says that this key contribution to the Goodbye Malaria partnership has provided numerous ongoing job opportunities and social upliftment for South Africans from disadvantaged communities.
“The Goodbye Malaria bracelets are beaded by senior citizens living in the townships of the Western Cape, for whom the extra income is critical. These seniors, aged from 65 to 95, have many children and grandchildren who depend on them, so we at Relate bracelets take very seriously our job of providing them with funding in exchange for the wonderful service they provide,” he adds.
Robinson stresses that given the challenges of COVID-19, it is more important now than ever before that organisations are adequately resourced to continue their fight against this deadly disease.
“We cannot allow the pandemic to set back our efforts by years, or even decades. If anything, we should be ramping up our efforts,” Robinson concludes.
You can help secure Relate’s future and boost the fight against malaria by going to the website and purchasing your Goodbye Malaria bracelet today.