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During the final week of the 2012 Orange Africa Cup of Nations, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) committed its support to the fight against malaria by officially endorsing the United Against Malaria (UAM) campaign.
CAF’s president, Mr. Issa Hayatou, expressed his support for football’s role in educating fans about malaria prevention and treatment and, as part of global efforts to end malaria deaths, called on all CAF members to join UAM and raise awareness about the devastating disease. While malaria is preventable and treatable, it continues to kill an estimated 655,000 people worldwide each year. More than 80 percent of these deaths occur in Africa, and the majority of them are children under the age of five.
“To date, we’ve seen a strong commitment from national federations and their players in the fight against malaria,” said Mr. Hicham El Amrani, secretary general of CAF. “We know the effect malaria has on our players and communities, and we want to build on the successful relationship between the United Against Malaria campaign and African football. We will rally our members to take action and promote United Against Malaria’s ‘Malaria Safe’ activities through the world’s most popular sport.”
CAF also made a pledge to distribute educational materials at future football tournaments and is encouraging fellow football associations and players to use their voices and images in educational outreach.
“By continuing to forge new and innovative partnerships that allow us to leverage unique platforms like the power and popularity of football, we can move closer to making malaria a problem of the past,” said Professor Awa Marie Coll-Seck, executive director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership. “With the world’s attention on 2012 Orange Africa Cup of Nations, we are grateful to CAF for offering us the opportunity to reach millions of people with important malaria prevention messages.”
Football Stars Share a Powerful Message During Orange Africa Cup of Nations Several football stars competing in the 2012 Orange Africa Cup of Nations tournament recently delivered malaria prevention and treatment messages in a new series of UAM public service announcements [http://www.youtube.com/UAMalaria ] (PSAs) that will air throughout Africa during the games.
The PSA series is focused on the importance of malaria prevention and treatment for children in Africa, where the disease still claims the life of a child every minute.
“We are thrilled to receive the support of CAF during the Federation’s flagship tournament,” said David Kyne, campaign manager of UAM. “The support we have received from African national football federations and players since the 2010 FIFA World Cup has helped us reach millions of Africans with these life-saving messages. CAF’s support will take that commitment to the next level, giving United Against Malaria another enormously powerful platform.”
The CAF endorsement builds on the great malaria control work being done by Standard Bank, an official sponsor of 2012 Orange Africa Cup of Nations and long-standing UAM partner.
Standard Bank has worked closely with UAM over the past two years to implement the “Malaria Safe Playbook,” a private sector malaria control guide developed by Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs, to educate global workforces and customers about malaria.
To learn more about UAM or to view the new UAM PSAs, please visit http://www.UnitedAgainstMalaria.org.
Image Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/afrikaforce/