Site icon The Times Group Malawi

Taking malaria head on

By Sam Banda Jnr:

Music just like sport will always be a powerful vehicle to use in disseminating important messages to the masses.

Apart from offering the much needed entertainment, music just like sport is faster in reaching out to the masses compared to other channels and this is why even politicians when hosting their rallies, would not skip using the services of artists.

Music has the power to help in disseminating messages for the health sector and it is in this vein that musicians Code Sangala better known as C.O. and Annemarie Quinn decided to come together to create Music Against Malaria initiative which has for the past months seen them raising funds through performances.

The initiative still continues with the two artists creating other events aimed at taking malaria head on.

Annemarie Quinn, a co-founder and director said they have lined up several events for Music Against Malaria initiative.

She said on the lineup is the Tour in A Day which will see them visiting different schools at perform at each school.

Annemarie said on the menu, Music Against Malaria has also partnered with Art Malawi and Jacaranda Cultural Centre in Blantyre.

“On Saturday 29th June 2019 we will be launching ‘Malaria Stories Art Exhibition’ at Jacaranda Cultural Centre. The exhibition will raise awareness and funds for Chikwawa District Hospital’s Paediatric A&E ward whilst promoting Malawi’s cultural heritage through Malawian art work,” Annemarie said.

She said music plays a crucial role in our lives hence utilizing it fully in the Music Against Malaria drive.

“Malaria is one of the diseases that continues to kill a lot of people and so we need to do more and one of the initiatives is to speak about to raise awareness,” Annemarie said.

She hailed different players, who have come out to support the cause by providing funding citing Total Malawi, Farming and Engineering Services and HTD.

“This initiative is not only about raising funds to fight malaria but also using music to raise awareness on malaria. We are using music to promote doable actions for prevention of malaria. We are also using music to offer a platform for communities to reflect on malaria,” she said.

On the Malaria Stories Art Exhibition, Annemarie, said this is part of creating awareness through everyday Malawi and that it will feature works from Andrew Missi, William Chikomo, Taz Kondwani Hara, Gilbert Mpakule and Hamilton Kameza.

“Having started with music, we are now expanding the drive to involve other players in the arts and now we are talking about visual arts,” she said.

Code, a former Big Brother Africa (BBA ) representative said having noticed that the disease was not being given much attention he decided to come out and play a role simply because he was once attacked by the disease and that it nearly killed him.

He said he realised that music is a strong weapon which would be used in the fight against malaria.

Today the initiative, which last year saw Code hosting different shows to raise funds to rehabilitate the children’s ward at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, has been expanded into a Non-Government Organisation (NGO).

Key facts from World Health Organisation (WHO) puts it clearly that malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.

The disease is preventable and curable but dangerous and because it is given little attention with little or inadequate resources in hospitals, it has ended up claiming lots of lives including children.

According to WHO, in 2017, there were an estimated 219 million cases of malaria in 87 countries and that the estimated number of malaria deaths stood at 435 000 in 2017.

The WHO African Region, according to WHO, carries a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden and that in 2017, the region was home to 92 percent of malaria cases and 93 percent of malaria deaths.

“I nearly died because of malaria and that gave me an idea that I could use my musical talent not only for entertainment but for a good cause and that is fight the disease through raising funds to buy drugs but also rehabilitate wards especially children’s wards. I am happy with the progress we have made as well as the support we have received from different institutions,” Code said.

Code, who used to star with Ndirande-based group Kapirintiya with his brother Shadre before going solo, said there is so much creative players can do to use their talents to assist in different initiatives such as health.

He said Music Against Malaria will continue to use the art form of music to drive fundraising campaigns to raise funds to refurbish pediatric accidents and emergency department of district hospitals in the country.

“Our mission is to contribute towards the improvement of the health sector in Malawi. We seek to bridge the gap between the government intervention and the donor community on health issues,” Code said.

Code who is also the host of the Sounds of Malawi Acoustic session at Jacaranda Cultural Centre aimed at propelling Malawian music, has also used the platform to speak on the Music Against Malaria initiative.

And having held several fundraising shows across the country attracting impressive audiences, Music Against Malaria is also expanding its base in the fight against the disease by creating a festival that according to Code, would be annual.

“We are just trying to do more. Add to what we have already created and we thought having a festival is something that would help in raising funds but also at the same time raise awareness on malaria. We are also looking at the festival as a hub to promote arts and culture,” the ‘Tithana,’ song creator said.

In collaboration with corporate partners and other local and international artists and performers, Code, said they will work with different stake holders’ in order to drive home the messages on malaria prevention and treatment as well as raise funds to refurbish pediatric wards in districts hospitals.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!
Exit mobile version