MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, January 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
- Through new television public service announcements, stars deliver life-saving messages to fans in malaria-endemic regions of Africa
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."
Private Sector Support
In addition to the PSAs, UAM private sector supporter, Marathon Oil, have continued to support malaria control in one of the tournament's host countries, Equatorial Guinea. During the Africa Cup of Nations they are sponsoring mass media projects that educate fans in country with prevention and treatment messages including a 2012 edition of the UAM GOAL! Magazine that includes photos and quotes from UAM champions.
The UAM campaign is also highlighting official sponsor of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, Standard Bank, and its successful implementation of the "Malaria Safe Playbook" with all employees in endemic malaria countries throughout Africa. The "Malaria Safe Playbook" is an interactive learning tool that Standard Bank has used to educate its global workforce and customers about malaria, after it previously distributed 11,000 ITNs to protect staff in 15 malaria-endemic markets and provided workers with UAM bracelets and educational materials to raise campaign visibility in their home countries.
To view the new UAM PSAs please visit http://www.UnitedAgainstMalaria.org.
Malaria is a disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. If left untreated, the infection in its most severe forms can lead to a coma and death. Malaria is preventable and treatable, but continues to kill a child every 45 seconds and nearly 800,000 people each year. Furthermore, malaria contributes to the cycle of poverty and limits economic development.
About United Against Malaria
United Against Malaria is a partnership of football teams and heroes, celebrities, health and advocacy organizations, governments, corporations, and individuals who have united to win the fight against malaria. Our goal is to galvanize partners throughout the world to reach the international target of reducing deaths to near zero by 2015. For more information please visit http://www.UnitedAgainstMalaria.org.
About 2012 Africa Cup of Nations
The Africa Cup of Nations is the continent's premier football championship, organized biannually by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The 2012 tournament of 16 teams, co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea from January 21 to February 12, will be followed by millions of fans in Africa and around the world.
SOURCE United Against Malaria