The mum of a young Brit who died of malaria after giving away his anti-malaria tablets to children in Ghana is supporting an appeal to eradicate the disease.
Jo Yirrell's son Harry fought for his life in hospital after contracting malaria while volunteering in a school in Africa.
Initially, doctors had assured Jo and husband David that their son would recover.
But after several days in intensive care his condition worsened and Jo and David’s worst nightmare became a reality.
Harry was unable to be saved and he died aged just 20 in 2005.
He had caught the disease after selflessly giving away his anti-malarial tablets to children he had met in a remote village in Ghana, who he thought needed the pills more than him.
Now mum Jo has launched a campaign alongside former footballer David Beckham to help support the fight against malaria, nearly 14 years after her son's tragic death, Sky News reports.
David Beckham is starring in a new short film, produced by Ridley Scott’s team, to launch the world’s first voice petition to end malaria.
In the film, David appears to speak nine languages but the voices are not all his own.
Using emerging AI video synthesis technology, David uses the voices of men and women from around the world, including malaria survivors and doctors fighting the disease.
This is the next phase of the Malaria Must Die campaign which David launched last year in the run up to the Malaria Summit in London which helped deliver a historic Commonwealth commitment to halve malaria by 2023.
The fight to end malaria has become even more critical since parts of southern Africa have been left devastated after Cyclone Idai swept through Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
Jo told Sky News: "We're asking everyone to take a minute of their time to sign up to the world's first voice-signed petition to end malaria, which has just been launched by David Beckham.
"My voice will be there – for Harry, for mothers and fathers everywhere like me, for children, for everyone. Please join me."
Jo has said nothing can change her feelings of grief but she now wants to dedicate herself to saving others from malaria.
Writing on Malaria No More's charity website, Jo says: "Harry should not have died from this disease and I want to do all I can to support Malaria No More UK’s work to end malaria deaths once and for all.
"Harry volunteered in a village school in Ghana and came home having unknowingly contracted a deadly strain of malaria.
"He seemed fine at first, but within a matter of days he had needlessly lost his life to this preventable disease."
She said she wants to work to make Ghana malaria free so what happened to her son doesn't happen to anyone else.
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