African football stars and heads of state will join the Roll Back Malaria Partnership’s United Against Malaria (UAM) campaign and pledge to distribute life-saving malaria prevention and treatment messages throughout the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.
Football icons including Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, and Steven Pienaar, along with African Heads of State including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso, President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, will lend their voices to the cause, appearing in television spots, billboards and educational materials that will be distributed across Africa. Those Heads of State are members of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance.
“We are thrilled to have malaria featured as a social cause of the 2013 Orange AFCON tournament,” said Hervé Verhoosel, Head of External Relations for the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, at the press conference in Johannesburg. “The strong partnership between United Against Malaria and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) allows us to leverage the powerful platform of football to reach millions of fans across Africa – where approximately 90% of global malaria deaths occur – with life-saving messages to help protect communities from this preventable and treatable disease.
The upcoming AFCON will build on the strong commitment and momentum of national federations and their players from the 2010 FIFA World Cup and move us closer to making malaria a problem of the past. It is also a pleasure for us to have the presence and support of Mr. Kirsten Nematandani, President of the South African Football Association, who is representing here today the 20 football federations supporting the campaign.”