Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi has lent his voice to a new campaign film to combat and, it is to be hoped, eradicate malaria.
The film, by the charity Malaria No More UK, is intended to inspire public and governmental action in the run-up to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Replenishment conference on 10th October in France. At this conference, the charity hopes to present all the voices collected through a voice petition as a single ‘roar,’ convincing world leaders of the public’s resolve to defeat the disease.
Like many of the high-profile celebrities involved in the video (including Hugh Laurie, Ncuti Gatwa, and Turn Left’s Noma Dumezweni ), Peter feels a personal connection with the disease:
“My trip to Malawi in 2015 was a life changer. I spent time in an overcrowded hospital where almost all the children had malaria. I’ll never forget reading the hospital’s Death Book – malaria claimed life after life… Real kids, no longer with us because they lacked basics to prevent and treat this curable disease.”
Malaria, which is caused by the Plasmodium parasite spread by the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito, killed an estimated 435,000 people in 2017 alone. 266,000 of them were children, with under 5’s the most vulnerable group. Most of these people lived on the African continent, with the top 3 affected countries being Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Burkina Faso.
Nor is the UK guaranteed to escape the mosquito’s bite forever: there is strong evidence that malaria was once indigenous to the UK and that global warming will see it return. Even more reason, then, to try to destroy it now.
It’s another worthwhile project for Peter, who regular DWC readers will know is very generous with his time. In May, he was giving out prizes to winners of the “Voices” writing competition for Coram Voice, an advocacy charity that helps children in care navigate the social services system. In January, he donated the entire proceeds of his autograph sales at Edinburgh’s Capital Sci-Fi Con to Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS). Peter also appeared in a music video for his cousin, Lewis, to raise money for the organ donation charity, Live Life Give Life and he is also a supporter of Operation Smile UK, the Association for International Cancer Research, and the Aberlour Child Care Trust.
To sign the petition to help end malaria for good, you can visit the campaign, here.