27-Year old singer Cheryl Cole grabbed the headlines yesterday when it surfaced that she contracted malaria.
Thank you, Cheryl.
Although I feel sorry for her, there is a good side to seeing superstars go down with disease, as it makes the world think for just a second about that disease. Better still if this is a disease of the developing world, like malaria.
Such events are good opportunities to raise awareness about neglected diseases. Too bad though that even one of UK’s most reputable news sources, The Guardian, still hasn’t figured out that malaria is caused by a parasite, not by a virus. The Metro did a much better job and described malaria in more detail today. Within 24 hours, a Google search 'Cheryl Cole malaria' returned more than 43 thousand hits.
Cole apparently contracted the disease during a recent vacation in Tanzania. She collapsed during a photo shoot yesterday after which it was discovered that she was infected with the deadliest form of the disease.
We’re blessed with the fact that mosquitoes do not discriminate, and have similar appetite for the rich as well as the poor, for the superstar singer as well as for shower-singers like you and me.
The good thing about this is that Cheryl will likely use her circles to talk about malaria. She may even join an awareness campaign and lobby for more research or funding for controlling the disease. Thank you, Cheryl.
Perhaps we should train mosquitoes to become more attracted to the rich and famous. It would certainly help. Yesterday, some three thousand children died of malaria in Africa. It is likely that a girl with the name Cheryl was amongst these latest victims. If not, than maybe today, as another three thousand children will succumb before this day is over.
Here’s a few famous individuals that succumbed to malaria:
President George Washington
Alexander the Great