Serena’s first encounter with malaria was at the tender age of 2 years old. She was diagnosed with a severe case of malaria while living in Lagos, Nigeria.
Thanks to her father’s knowledge of symptoms and access to the right medical care, she was able to gradually recover. However, many children under 5, are not so lucky - with a child dying from malaria every 2 minutes.
As Serena got older, aware of her early battle with the disease and the widespread threat it poses, she became determined to stop any other child or parent from going through the same experience as her and her parents.
This is a preventable and curable disease and the fact that it is claiming so many children’s lives, we should not be sitting so comfortable in that knowledge, without doing everything we can to create a malaria-free future when it’s within possibility. Malaria almost ended my life, so now I work to end malaria.
Serena’s work as a malaria activist started as early as 7 years old, where she would raise money to provide mosquito nets and malaria treatment to her community in Nigeria.
Serena is determined to create a better world and raise awareness of the fight against malaria. She seeks to remind people that although they may feel they are a drop in the ocean, without those drops the ocean wouldn’t exist - small actions can have a big impact. “We really must play our part as global citizens... Ending malaria is on top of the world’s to-do list - we can do this in our lifetimes.”
In a message to leaders and people alike across the world, Serena says: “To create a future free from malaria, we need cross-sector partnership from governments to the grassroots level. We need to engage all stakeholders. Funding is such a big part of this to enable prevention, education, and treatment. We need to create global awareness that this is still a disease that is killing children and adults all over the world - a disease that we can treat, prevent and most importantly end.”
Serena is part of the Malaria Must Die campaign 2020. A world without malaria is a world Serena is looking forward to seeing and one in which she is committed to achieving.
A future free from malaria is a future that inspires us. It's a future we want to step into, and it's a future that is within our grasp. We really need to join hands in this common agenda and create a future that's free from malaria for all.
Serena Mukhi is a 20-year-old full-time, final year student studying Politics and Economics at the London School of Economics, UK and a malaria activist. Serena is of Indian descent and was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. She moved to London at the age of 10.