ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sport Relief and a Child With Malaria

Updated on July 6, 2018

Tonight I am watching Sport Relief on BBC1. It is a lot like Comic Relief, with the emphasis on sport instead of comedy. Celebrities and ordinary citizens are raising money to help disadvantaged children, both at home in the UK and in developing countries like Africa and India. The total raised so far is over £16,000,000. The end total will be far in excess of this.

My son has gone to bed now. For a while, he was watching with me. We watched James Corden, of Gavin and Stacey, visit a hospital somewhere in Africa. Every day, children are lost to malaria. That day, we learned, six children had died. A motionless baby was carried out covered by a blanket. A three year old boy, who was alive at the beginning of the clip, had been carried for nine hours by his grandmother to reach the hospital. James Corden spoke to the family and wished for a happy outcome. By the end of the clip, he too had passed away.

Just five pounds could have prevented the death of these children. Five pounds is all it costs to provide the mosquito net which would have stopped the child contracting malaria. What does five pounds mean to you or I? A cake and a coffee in Starbucks? A taxi ride home instead of walking in the rain? A bottle of wine on a Friday evening?

Of course, we all know already of the problems faced by children in poverty stricken places such as Africa. A lot of the time, though, we forget. In the back of our minds, we know that it is happening, but we do not personally associate with it. We don't feel the pain or the fear or the sadness of these people. We see a picture on the news or in a newspaper, but it is one of many seen before. We feel sad for a moment, but then we carry on with our lives and forget.

Televised events like Sport Relief and Comic Relief remind us of the terrible situations faced by real people in our world of inequality. People are dying of diseases which could be cured by drugs costing less than a pound. Children have lost both parents to AIDS and are left fending for themselves - and I mean completely for themselves. Women and unborn children are dying in maternity hospitals which are woefully equipped to deal with problems.

As I write this, my children are tucked into comfortable beds, warm and safe and nourished. How would I feel if they were not? How would I feel if I could not be sure they would even wake in the morning; if I could not even take them to a doctor if they were ill?

When our children are born they are like little miracles in our arms. We stare down at their innocent, searching faces and wonder how they will turn out. We wonder what their personality will be like; what they will enjoy; what they will look like. We wish for them the most wonderful future. We want everything for them. If it came to it, we would die for them.

That little three year old boy who lost his life to malaria was someone's child. Just because he was born into dire poverty did not make him any less loved. He, too, was someone's little miracle. He had a personality. He had feelings. He had fears. Perhaps he jumped and ran and laughed. Perhaps he played with his brothers and sisters. Perhaps he cuddled up to his mother.

My son, who was watching with me, is a typical British child. He wants a lot of things. He has a lot of things. He does not need anything that he doesn't have already. He does not want for a comfortable house, or food, or healthcare. He has education, which he doesn't yet appreciate. Yet when he saw that clip, of the terrible consequences caused by a lack of cheap mosquito nets, he was both moved and horrified. He decided it was the UK Governments responsibilty to provide every mosquito net needed. Of course, he has no real grasp of politics as yet, but he insisted that we donate to Sport Relief immediately. So we did.

That is why programmes like Sport Relief are so important. Yes, such events have been organised time and time again. Yes, we have seen it all before. We are already aware of many of these problems, yet we forget about them in the humdrum of our busy lives. We get caught up in other things. We do care, but we forget. We need reminding - just because we were lucky enough to be born into civilisation and relative privilige does not mean that we, or our children, are any more important.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Polly C profile imageAUTHOR

      Polly C 

      8 years ago from UK

      MeGunner, thank you for your comments...I wrote this really quickly when the programme was still on because I just felt it was something I had to do. I can only imagine the sadness and helplessness you must have felt holding these dying children...it's just so wrong, it's so tragic that children's lives are lost when they could be saved with only a small amount of money. Here in this country we are so lucky, and we worry about such trivial things. I only wish more was being done to put things right. Thank you once again for reading :)

    • MeGunner profile image

      MeGunner 

      8 years ago from Lagos

      Well, am touched you could be this concerned by merely watching a documentary. I have experienced this first hand; I've held many of these dying kids in my hands and I have had to console their parents on so many occassions. The poverty of a section of humanity is so profound that all some families live for is how to get the next morsel of bread. If just one percent of comfortable people like you and i can care like you do and donate our 'widow's mite', Africa will definitely be a better place, where kids could at least dream...

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)