“For this small amount of gold we risk our lives”

Malaria deaths could double due to Covid-19 disruptions. Some families have no choice but to face that risk.

On World Malaria Day (25 April) the World Health Organisation has warned that the number of deaths from malaria in sub-Saharan Africa could double this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The severe disruption to accessing medicine and treated nets could lead to a return to malaria mortality levels last seen 20 years ago.

Despite the heightened risk, many cannot afford to take precautions. Makali is a remote gold mining community in Tonkolili district, Sierra Leone. Families continue to work through the night despite the high risk of being bitten by mosquitos.

A group of Radar reporters have captured this intimate glimpse of one family’s experience of malaria, documenting why some have no choice to continue in high-risk work.

Mohamed S Camara, who directed this short film, began reporting with Radar in 2012. Back then, community reporters used SMS and phone calls as their only means of sharing news outside their borders. As smart-phone prevalence increased, they tracked the Ebola outbreak for global media using chat apps. Just before the Covid-19 lockdown, Mohamed and fellow reporter, Mohamed Dauda Kamara, joined our mobile documentary training and this is their first film. Shot entirely on mobile phones, and edited by the reporters, the quality and intimacy of what they’ve achieved has blown us away.

Please share it widely this World Malaria Day and help raise awareness of the impacts Covid-19 is having on other health crises around the world.



Director/Editor – Mohamed S Camara
Cameraman – Mohamed Dauda Kamara
Producers – Adama T. Barrie and Pa Brima Conteh
Post-production support – Maellet Bundu