70-year-old David Beckham appears in Malaria Campaign

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DAVID Beckham has taken part in a new campaign as a 70 year old version of himself after the world has eradicated malaria.

Beckham can be seen on film with grey hair and wrinkled skin delivering a message of hope set in the future.

The campaign Malaria Must Due, So Millions Can Live has created the short film aiming to “reignite the belief that human kind is capable of uniting to defeat diseases.”

The film opens with an older Beckham delivering  speech to a large  crowd.

As he continues to speak, a visual transformation takes place, and the older man changes back into David Beckham today.

The new film was developed by Ridley Scott Creative Group Amsterdam and produced by RSA Films Amsterdam.

The visual effects added 30 years to Beckham’s face using a combination of techniques and face-swapping technology.

David Beckham looks art his older self - Health News UK
David Beckham looks into the eyes of his future self

By mixing production footage and photography of an older face with the detailed subtleties of Beckham’s live performance, the production crew were able to create a blend of features that helped produce an older Beckham.

In his long-term role as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador he has seen the impact of malaria on people’s lives in countries such as Sierra Leone.

David Beckham, a founding member of Malaria No More UK Leadership Council  said: “The fight against malaria is a cause close to my heart because the disease remains a huge killer of children and we have the opportunity to change that in our lifetime.

“I’ve worked with Malaria No More UK since 2009, supporting campaigns and helping shine a light on the challenge.

David Beckham as an older person - Health News UK
An older Beckham sending a message from a time when Malaria has been eradicated

“Their campaigns always use great creativity and innovation to attract attention to the issue and I’m delighted also to have met some of the inspiring people who are working so hard to end this disease.”

This year’s WHO World Malaria Report, shows that  there were over 400,000 malaria deaths reported in 2019, predominantly among children under five across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Ingrid Etoke, who works for Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) – an organisation that is looking for new ways to fight malaria – met with David and shared her story.

Ingrid said: “Growing up in Cameroon in West Africa, I always had the shadow of malaria hanging over me.

“I suffered from malaria many times and I lost my cousins to the disease. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

“I believe that in the not-too-distant future, we will beat this disease and young children dying from malaria will become an old and distant memory.”

The report also reveals that COVID-19 poses a threat to malaria progress, but that existing investment and infrastructure to date  has enabled countries to be more resilient.

Dr Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme, said: “The emergence of COVID-19 has shown the world how critical our health systems are.

“It is crucial that 2021 sees the world getting back on track towards achieving existing targets to reduce malaria as we come through the pandemic.

“By investing in ending malaria, we will not only save lives that would otherwise be lost to this deadly disease; we will also protect current health systems.”