LEEDS MP Andrea Jenkyns has given her backing to the campaign to tackle malaria after travelling to Kenya to learn more about the deadly disease.
The Morley and Outwood MP travelled to Africa with Malaria No More UK to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of malaria and how it can be beaten.
Despite malaria being treatable and preventable it still claims 500,000 lives every year and is the world’s oldest and deadliest disease.
There has been a significant reduction in cases and deaths but, for the first time in a decade, progress has stalled and there is a risk of resurgence. Mrs Jenkyns said: “Doctors and nurses were treating several young children that were unconscious with severe malaria.
“Statistics show that a child dies every two minutes from malaria, and it was heart breaking to see that, often, by the time families travel to their nearest health facility, it can be too late.
“As a mother myself to a young toddler, to witness a baby needing to be resuscitated due to this terrible disease brought tears to my eyes.”
Mrs Jenkyns urged the Government to take advantage of being Commonwealth Chair-in-Office for the next two years and use the opportunity to work with Commonwealth countries to maximise progress.
The UK has strong economic, political and cultural links with many of the countries most affected by malaria.
“We cannot end this killer disease without Commonwealth action,” she added.
“We must end this deadly disease once and for all.”