Katharine McPhee launches anti-malaria trip

Singer and actress Katharine McPhee recently began a charity-sponsored trip to Africa in order to raise awareness of the struggle against malaria.

The star of the new NBC/Dreamworks Television series Smash began her travels to the continent by visiting Ghana on behalf of the non-profit Malaria No More. McPhee, the organization's spokesperson, assisted in the distribution of malaria netting to several areas affected by the disease, according to

Along with her husband, Nick Cokas, McPhee visited a Ghanaian health clinic and later attended a durbar, a special ceremony attended by village chiefs and other important community members.

The actress also took part in a school play about a young boy who contracted the often fatal illness. In the children's production, she played the role of a doctor.

For her anti-malaria efforts, as well as her part in the performance, McPhee was given a handcrafted stool by the village's senior leader.

"[The nets] will be put to good use - and please know you will always have a home back here in Ghana." a local health official said, reports.

McPhee then travelled to Ouagadougou, Burkino Faso, to visit a school she helped begin through her own organization, the McPhee Outreach Project. The school was an initial success, but several students have reportedly fallen behind after contracting malaria, according to