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Davina McCall with children in Tanzania

Davina McCall with children from the Kibirizi Community Group, Tanzania
Photo: Mia Collis/Comic Relief

Comic Relief partnership

Working with Comic Relief to fight malaria

A five-year partnership focused on strengthening local health systems. We are working together with communities to support their efforts to fight malaria.

Over the past 20 years, significant progress has been made against malaria. The WHO's World Malaria Report shows that since 2000, 7.6 million lives have been saved and 1.5 billion cases of malaria averted. 

However, this preventable and treatable disease continues to take a heavy human and economic toll. Malaria continues to claim nearly half a million lives every year, most of them very young children in Africa. Progress is further threatened by funding shortfalls and the COVID-19 pandemic. The work of the partnership is particularly pertinent given the pandemic, and this briefing sets out some great examples of the flexibility and innovation demonstrated by our partners as they continue to provide services during this time.

  • 216,000,000

    In 2016 alone, 91 countries reported a total of 216 million cases of malaria, over five million cases more than the previous year. Globally, malaria deaths reached 445,000 deaths, about the same as the number reported in 2015.

  • £22m

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

About the partnership

Portrait of Johari Msubaha and Tabu Hamisi Kihuna
Johari Msubaha (right), the Secretary of the Kanyabeza womens’s group and Tabu Hamisi Kihuna (left), the leader of the group.

Together with Comic Relief, we aim to make a real difference to those living in five malaria endemic countries. Comic Relief and GSK believe that one of the best ways to fight malaria is to work with communities to help strengthen local and national health services and improve their ability to combat the disease. We focus on combating malaria and strengthening health care systems in low-income settings through health worker training, community education, strengthening of surveillance systems and in-country advocacy.  

Once malaria's spread is controlled, its devastating impact will be diminished. This, in turn, can lead to better overall health for people living in poverty and whole communities will have the chance to thrive.

Both GSK and Comic Relief believe that defeating malaria will unlock human and economic potential. it will give children a chance to grow up healthy, and health workers the chance to focus their resources on other challenges. A malaria free future is worth fighting for.