Sussex Travel Clinic

Hove Clinic

01273 749100

Worthing Clinic

01903 254774

Did anyone see Mary and Martha last week?

Love Actually writer, Richard Curtis, wrote this moving and very tragic story for Comic Relief 2013 about two mothers who lose their sons to malaria. It certainly has got us all talking in travel clinic. mary and martha

The films story tells the tale of two mothers who meet in Zimbabwe following the deaths of their sons from malaria.  Martha, played by Brenda Blethyn, loses her son Ben after he gives away his ­malaria tablets and she and  Mary, played by ­Hollywood actress Hilary Swank, form an unlikely friendship and team up to campaign for malaria prevention.

Richard Curtis was inspired to write the story after hearing about Jo Yirrell, whose son Harry worked in Ghana in 2005. Jo lost her son Harry to malaria after he gave away his malaria tablets to the locals in Ghana. Harry had an amazing adventure in Ghana, he helped build a school, met a local girl and fell in love. He saw the local community suffering from malaria and in a selfless act he gave away his malaria tablets. On his return home to the UK, Harry became sick with symptoms of malaria and was admitted to hospital and sadly passed away.

Before Harry died, Jo had little knowledge about malaria. However, since Harry’s death in 2005 she has campaigned and raised awareness of malaria through her role as an Ambassador for the UK based charity – Malaria No More. Jo also speaks at Travel Medicine study days in the UK educating health care professionals by sharing her experience. I have had the pleasure of meeting this inspirational woman who has dedicated her life to campaigning to try and prevent unnecessary deaths from malaria. I am sure Jo has saved many lives and Harry would be extremely proud of all his mum has achieved.

Malaria Facts

  • Worldwide there are 219 million cases of malaria every year.
  • Sleeping under a mosquito net saves lives – nets cut malaria cases in children by half and reduce child deaths by 20%
  • A child dies from malaria every minute.
  • Every year, over 660,000 people die from malaria, over 90% of these deaths are in Africa.

Source –

How can you help?

  • Make a donation by visiting
  • Donate a mosquito net – leave your mosquito net behind when you return to the UK. You don’t need a mosquito net here and by leaving it for locals in areas where malaria is present you will be helping to save lives.

If you need to discuss malaria recommendations for the countries you are travelling to , pick up malaria tablets or buy a net – Call the clinic on 01273 749100.