22:07 GMT12 August 2020
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    UK football celebrity David Beckham starred in a viral video appeal that launched Tuesday, created to attract attention to the problem of malaria ahead of a key fundraising conference scheduled for October.

    In the video, Beckham appears to speak in nine different languages — Spanish, Arabic, French, Hindi, Mandarin, Swahili, Kinyarwanda (which is spoken in Rwanda) and Yoruba, a West African language — which the creators say represent the nine regions most affected by the disease.

    "Malaria isn't just any disease. It's the deadliest disease there's ever been," the sports celebrity says in English, before continuing his speech in the other languages, complete with English subtitles.

    Throughout the video, Beckham changes voices, including to several female ones; the people behind those voices are malaria survivors and doctors, ET Canada reports. The football player's face was digitally edited to make it look like Beckham actually speaks the languages of those voices.

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), malaria kills about 435,000 people a year, mostly in Africa. Children under five are said to be the most vulnerable to the disease, making up about 61 percent of all deaths. In 2017, WHO estimated there were some 219 million cases of malaria worldwide, an increase of 2 million since 2016. Despite the United Nations having set a goal in 2015 to eradicate the disease by 2030, progress has since stalled.

    The creators of the viral video, Malaria No More UK, are urging people of various nations to address their leaders in order to renew global momentum in the fight against the disease. In October this year, a Global Fund conference aimed at raising at least $14 billion from various governments, companies and philanthropists to fight malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis will take place in Paris.

    Beckham, 43, is a founding member of Malaria No More UK's leadership council and has supported the organization for over a decade, ET Canada says.

    "It's unacceptable that malaria still kills a child every two minutes, so please add your voice to the petition," Beckham said in a statement.


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    Beyond Politics, healthcare, malaria, video, World Health Organization (WHO), David Beckham, Africa, United Kingdom
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