Cheryl Cole talks of malaria near-death experience

Returning X Factor star Cheryl Cole has described her near death experience of malaria as she helps to raise funds to fight the disease through Sport Relief.

The star contracted the disease on a holiday in Tanzania. Credit: Reuters

Cole claims doctors gave her just a day to live at one stage when she was struck down with the illness after contracting it on holiday in Tanzania. She said:

"When I climbed Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief five years ago it was honestly one of the hardest things I've ever done.

"The motivation lay in knowing it could help in eradicating malaria and ultimately saving lives by providing mosquito nets.

"I didn't for one minute think that only a year later I would get malaria myself and become so ill that at one point I was given 24 hours to live.

"It was the scariest thing you could ever imagine for me and for my friends and family. The pain I felt and went through, it's what so many people go through, all because they don't have a mosquito net which could save their life.

"I was lucky, I had the best care I could get. Some people are not so lucky."