Putting the boot into malaria

TWELVE-YEAR-OLD Charles Ssali is using his passion for soccer to help save children from a deadly disease that kills millions every year.

As an ambassador of the United Against Malaria campaign Charles encourages children to protect themselves against malaria.

"I am really excited to be in South Africa for the World Cup draw. I love football and I hate malaria," Charles said.

Charles arrived in South Africa yesterday for the final World Cup draw in Cape Town next Friday.

A passionate soccer player with the Friends of Football team in his home country, Uganda, Charles was four years old when he contracted malaria.

The soft-spoken defender said he planned to encourage children to protect themselves by sleeping under mosquito nets.

Celebrities such as David éBeckham, U2 frontman Bono and actress Ashley Judd are also involved in the campaign.