WORLD MALARIA DAY - 25 April
KINGSLEY HOLGATE LAND ROVER EXPEDITION TEAM HEADS FOR MOZAMBIQUE IN AID OF FLOOD VICTIMS
Departing on World Malaria Day (25 April), the Kingsley Holgate Land Rover team is heading to Mozambique on a relief expedition to assist communities living near Gorongosa National Park, who are still suffering the impact of Cyclone Idai, widespread flooding and now a serious and escalating threat of malaria.
Malaria is the leading cause of death in Mozambique, which has the third highest number of malaria cases anywhere in the world. A month after Cyclone Idai slammed into Beira and left a swathe of destruction on its path inland towards Zimbabwe’s Chimanimani region leaving vast areas flooded, malaria is on the increase with 9,501 cases reported since 27 March alongside 4,979 cases of cholera. (Source: UN OCHA)
The expedition is heading for the Gorongosa region inland from Beira, where over 30,000 people living in low-lying areas near the Buzi River that flows along the Gorongosa National Park boundary were in the direct path of the cyclone and large areas are still under water. The Park responded by launching its own relief efforts to rescue community members by helicopter and boat, its rangers swopping wildlife for humanitarian work and wading through waist-high waters to reach stranded families. They have delivered over 30 tonnes of food but the threat of contaminated drinking water and malaria remains extremely high: stagnant water is a perfect breeding ground for malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
Malaria prevention and water purification support are key elements of all Holgate humanitarian expeditions. “It started because of personal experiences,” said Kingsley. “I’ve had malaria more than 50 times, a young man died of malaria in one of our vehicles as we were rushing him to a clinic and it’s unacceptable that a child dies of malaria every two minutes around the clock. And all of our expedition team know the dangers of water borne diseases – we’ve all suffered from dysentery, which can kill even the toughest man.”
The expedition to Gorongosa will focus on supplying 15 tonnes of life-saving PermaNet mosquito nets, malaria test kits and treatments, and enough water purification units to provide over one million litres of clean drinking water in support of Gorongosa’s efforts. The expedition convoy will include the two Land Rover Discoverys tried and tested on previous world-first expeditions, including the recent Cape Town to Kathmandu transcontinental journey.
“No one could have predicted that this year’s World Malaria Day would coincide with the aftermath of such an enormous humanitarian disaster,” said expedition leader Ross Holgate. “Now that roads, bridges and river crossings are becoming passable in the Gorongosa region, we’re determined to do our bit to help our neighbours in need.”
He continued: “Relief expeditions like this cannot be done without support, and we pay tribute to Land Rover, Rotarians in Southern Africa, Moz-am-bik Restaurants, the Hlokomela Foundation, Coca Cola SABCO Mozambique, Goodbye Malaria, Barrows, LifeStraws and Water Maker who have willingly come on board to support this World Malaria Day expedition.”
For further details and interviews, please contact Sheelagh Antrobus on 082-4327466 or firstname.lastname@example.org
STATS AND INFO ABOUT MALARIA/ WATER BORNE DISEASES
According to the latest World Health Organization report, 219 million cases of malaria were reported during 2017, with 92% occurring in Africa. 435 000 people died from the disease.
A child dies every two minutes from malaria; children under 5 accounted for 61% (266 000) of all malaria deaths worldwide in 2017. Pregnant women are also at high risk.
Kingsley Holgate has had malaria more than 50 times.
To date, the Kingsley Holgate Foundation has distributed over 440 920 mosquito nets in high-risk communities throughout Africa, helping to protect over 1.3 million people from the deadly bite of the female Anopheles mosquito.
]Nearly one in five child deaths – about 1.5 million each year – are due to water borne diseases, especially from cholera, dysentery and diarrhoea.
To date, the Kingsley Holgate Foundation has distributed more than 46 000 individual LifeStraw units and family-size units, providing over 63 million litres of clean drinking water to communities most in need.