Ghetto Kids Mesmerize  Prince William and Queen Camilla in United Kingdom

Ghetto Kids Mesmerize Prince William and Queen Camilla in United Kingdom

The world-famous Ugandan dance troupe, The Ghetto Kids, made history during  Commonwealth Day as they performed to the Prince William and Queen Camilla.

Aged 7-14, the young dancers put on a characteristically high-energy show of the kind which won over the hearts of the British public at last year’s Britain’s Got Talent finals.

The performance was part of wider celebrations to mark the 75th annual Commonwealth Day, kicking off a week of activities around the globe.

Along with their stage talents, The Ghetto Kids bring a message of hope in the fight against malaria, a disease they have first-hand experience of at home in Uganda which has the third highest proportion of cases globally (WHO, 2023).

They shared their Commonwealth Day experience and the progress being made to end malaria with Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Lord David Cameron, at a lunch Tuesday.

Recent developments from the UK include the approval by the World Health Organisation of a second malaria vaccine (known as ‘R21’), developed by The University of Oxford, and the ongoing rollout of the world’s first malaria vaccine (RTS,S) developed by British firm GSK ,across Africa.

To support this rollout, the UK Government also committed to matching the first £2m of new pledges from the private sector to support additional vaccine deployment and a further £10m for research into which measures will make the rollout most effective. 

The new vaccines are most effective when deployed alongside additional tools such as insecticide-treated bed nets and other preventative and treatment interventions.

The additional £12m funding comes on top of the Government’s £1.65bn funding to Gavi for 2021-2025 which is helping fund the rollout of the vaccines in 20 African countries and our £1 billion commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria for 2023-2026 which is supporting the distribution of 86 million mosquito nets, 452,000 seasonal malaria chemoprevention treatments and malaria treatment and care for 18 million people.

Ghetto Kids member, Priscilla (aged 13), said: “Doing our dance routine in front of the Royal Family made me so happy – I still can’t believe it happened. We brought out some new moves -we really hope they enjoyed it!

“I hope people notice our joy when we dance and it makes them happy too. Dance can give us hope and it’s a great way to teach people about malaria, to bring people together to stop it once and for all.”

Ghetto Kids member, King (aged 14), said: “Of course my name is King, but meeting real royalty is a dream come true! I loved it and I could see from their faces it was making them very happy as well.

“We’re really lucky to be able to travel the world and spread happiness like this. I hope our dancing shows people what we can do when we come together. It should inspire people to show them we can do amazing things – like beat malaria!

“People need to know that malaria’s a life-long disease – it comes back again and again. I even had to pull out of The Britian’s Got Talent final because I had it. When you’re sick, you can’t walk, you can’t dance, you can’t go to school, but I know it’s preventable, it’s treatable. So why should it threaten a child’s life or stop them from doing the things they love?

Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Lord David Cameron, said:

We can learn from The Ghetto Kids, when they say we need passion and unity to end malaria in our lifetimes. This devastating disease kills a child nearly every minute of the day, but it is entirely preventable.

British science is at the cutting edge in the global fight with groundbreaking research and innovative solutions. Our scientific community is at the forefront of developing the tools like world-first vaccines, bed nets and treatment interventions, which when used in combination will save thousands of lives.

Gareth Jenkins, Executive Director of Advocacy and Strategy at Malaria No More UK, said: “The Ghetto Kids are an inspiration. They remind us that with the right mindset, the right approach and the right resources, malaria can be defeated.

“And so often it’s the children most affected by malaria whose voices go unheard, which is why it’s great that the Ghetto Kids are here to change that.

“The UK has spearheaded this with British-based GSK and The Jenner Institute at The University of Oxford developing the world’s first approved malaria vaccines, as well as the Government committing an extra £12m to vaccine rollout and research into effective deployment this year.

“When used effectively, and in conjunction with other tools such as bed nets, the new vaccines have the potential to make a real difference to the malaria fight. Which is why we need governments – including our own – to back Gavi, the Global Vaccine Alliance and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria next year with the funding they need to make the Ghetto Kids’ dream of a zero malaria world a reality in their lifetimes.”

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