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David Beckham 'attacked by swarm of mosquitoes' as he launches new charity campaign to tackle malaria threat

Irish Mirror logoIrish Mirror 07/02/2018 Sebastian Malo

David Beckham © Doug Peters/Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment David Beckham David Beckham is fronting a new campaign that reinvigorates the fight against malaria under the slogan "Malaria must die - so millions can live". 

The retired footballer player joined ranks in a campaign by charity Malaria No More to star in a short film in which he is caged in a glass box and swarmed by mosquitoes.

The stunt is a reference to the way malaria is transmitted through the bite of the blood-sucking insects.

"We can be the generation that ends it for good, malaria must die so millions can live," he says in the clip.

a close up of an animal: Credits: Malaria Must Die Ð So Millions Can Live/PA Wire © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Malaria Must Die Ð So Millions Can Live/PA Wire

a close up of David Beckham: Credits: Malaria Must Die Ð So Millions Can Live/PA Wire © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Malaria Must Die Ð So Millions Can Live/PA Wire "These insects are annoying in places like the UK but in many parts of the world a mosquito bite is terrifying and deadly," he added in a statement.

Despite successes in recent years, malaria continues to kill about 445,000 people a year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

"This is totally unacceptable," said Beckham, a member of Malaria No More UK's leadership council and a Goodwill Ambassador for the U.N. children's agency UNICEF.

a close up of a mans face: Credits: Malaria Must Die Ð So Millions Can Live/PA Wire © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Malaria Must Die Ð So Millions Can Live/PA Wire The "Malaria must die" campaign is particularly focused on pressuring leaders of countries in the Commonwealth, a 52-member grouping including Britain and most of its former colonies, to adopt policies aimed at eliminating the disease. 

The WHO last year warned that progress in the fight against malaria had stalled amid signs of flatlining funding and complacency that the disease was less of a threat.

a hand holding a cell phone: Credits: Malaria Must Die Ð So Millions Can Live/PA Wire © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Malaria Must Die Ð So Millions Can Live/PA Wire In its most recent World Malaria Report, the WHO said malaria infected around 216 million people in 91 countries in 2016, an increase of 5 million cases over the previous year.

The vast majority of deaths were in children under the age of five in the poorest parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

For more information visit https://www.malariamustdie.com/

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