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As the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea prepares to kick off, some of football’s biggest stars have been practicing more than just their moves on the football pitch; they’ve also been practicing delivering messages about malaria control.
Andrew (Dede) Ayew, midfielder from Ghana, Gervinho, forward from Cote d’Ivoire, and Moussa Sow, forward from Senegal, were just a few of the tournament stars who delivered malaria prevention and treatment messages in new United Against Malaria (UAM) public service announcements (PSAs) that will air throughout Africa during the tournament.
Other UAM champions who lent their voice to the new PSAs include Jordan Ayew, striker from Ghana, Charles Kabore, midfielder from Burkina Faso, and Asamoah Gyan, striker from Ghana. The PSAs focus on the importance of malaria prevention and treatment for children in Africa, “because all children deserve a chance at greatness, just like their heroes on the football pitch.” Although preventable and treatable, a child in Africa dies every 45 seconds from malaria.
“Malaria still kills many children in Africa, and it’s important that we educate fans on how to protect themselves and their families,” said Ghana Football Association President and CAF Executive Committee member Kwesi Nyantakyi, whose national team starred in a UAM PSA ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. “Until we have no children dying from malaria in Africa, we need to spread the word about ways to prevent and treat this disease.”
The new PSAs will be shown at half-time during matches aired in Ghana, Senegal and many other African countries through local and cable television stations.
“We are so grateful to the players and their national associations for their commitment to the fight against malaria,” said David Kyne, United Against Malaria Campaign Manager. “Their support offers us an unparalleled opportunity to reach millions of viewers watching the tournament to deliver messages about the prevention and treatment of malaria.”
Image Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/gatesfoundation/