Comic Relief partnership

Partnership overview

Over the past 15 years, significant progress has been made against malaria. According to the latest WHO World Malaria Report, deaths have more than halved since 2000.[1]

But more needs to be done.  Malaria continues to claim nearly half a million lives every year, most of them very young children in Africa. This preventable and treatable disease continues to take a heavy human and economic toll. In 2015 alone, there were 212 million new cases of malaria worldwide and an estimated 429 000 malaria deaths– 92% of which were in Africa.[2] 


Created by a £17 million donation from GSK and £5 million from Comic Relief

The World Health Organization has set a target to cut malaria cases and deaths by at least 90% by 2030.[3] This will take teamwork. So GSK and Comic Relief have joined forces in a five-year partnership to help strengthen health systems’ ability to tackle malaria and improve people’s health in five countries that are worst affected by the disease.

A new fund – created through a £17 million donation from GSK and £5 million from Comic Relief –will provide targeted grants to organisations on the frontline, tackling malaria and improving health in five malaria endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. These grants, made and managed by Comic Relief, will complement current malaria programmes and help ensure people can access diagnosis, prevention and treatment at the right time and in the right place.

This partnership builds on GSK’s longstanding commitments to fighting malaria on all fronts – from researching medicines and vaccines to supporting community prevention and education efforts. Find out more about our work on malaria.

Fighting malaria and improving health in Tanzania

In December 2016, the Comic Relief and GSK partnership announced its first grants – worth £2.8 million – to support the work of three organisations fighting malaria and improving health in Tanzania: 

  • Tanzania Communication and Development Center who will engage and educate communities on malaria and promote positive care-seeking behaviours;
  • Association of Private Health Facilities in Tanzania who will improve malaria healthcare services in the private and public sector, and increase malaria knowledge; and  
  • Clinton Health Access Initiative who will train private providers in three districts to support health workers’ diagnosis and tracking of patients with suspected malaria. 

Commenting on the grants, David Ng’ang’a, Country Manager for GSK in Tanzania, said:

“Living and working in Tanzania, we see the impact of malaria on our communities every day. As a business, GSK has long been dedicated to fighting malaria and we are pleased to be collaborating with Comic Relief to build on these efforts. Through our partnership, we are able to support three national organisations which are doing fantastic work to empower health workers and communities to take action against malaria.”

Jennie Richmond, Head of International Grants, Comic Relief, added:

“We’re excited to start working with organisations in Tanzania, complementing national initiatives and local efforts to help take the fight against malaria to the next level. Malaria is both preventable and treatable and the Comic Relief and GSK partnership believes that by strengthening health systems, malaria endemic countries will be far better placed to control this devastating disease.”

The partnership will be sharing stories from Tanzania and announcing grants in further countries during 2017. 

Fighting malaria and improving health in Mozambique

In January 2017, the Comic Relief and GSK partnership announced a second round of grants, worth £3.5 million, to support the work of four organisations fighting malaria and improving health in Mozambique.  

  • Manhica Foundation who will train health planners and providers in rural health facilities and communities in the use of an electronic health management information system. This will revolutionise the way data is collected, analysed and used to improve decision making and better targeting of malaria interventions.
  • Nweti Health Communication who will use a mix of communication methods to raise awareness on malaria prevention, symptoms of malaria and other severe illnesses, and the importance of seeking care early from a health worker.
  • Programa Inter Religioso Contra a Malaria (PIRCOM) who will work with respected community and religious leaders  to support a network of health committees and volunteers to increase knowledge and understanding of how to prevent and treat malaria.
  • CUAMM (Doctors with Africa) who will help provide training, mentoring and ongoing support for community and facility health workers in the management of malaria and other severe illnesses.