At first sight you might wonder what the connection was between football and malaria. But rest assured there is a serious message behind it all. Malaria or rather its prevention.
As part of their commitment to the United Againgst Malaria campaign, Sumitomo Chemical, the manufacturer
of Olyset malaria nets, has put together a series of public service announcements (PSA) entitled
‘Footballers v Malaria’.
These announcements feature over 20 African football champions from across the malaria-endemic continent and communicate the power of using long-lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets. The key message in the announcements is: “Your life is important – use a bednet.”
This service was launched to a group of invited guests at the Commonwealth Club in London on 23 June. After the launch, delegates were invited to stay to watch the crucial England v Slovenia match. Thank heavens England won!
The serious message behind this is although malaria is a preventable disease, it claims the life of a child in Africa every 45 seconds.
United Against Malaria is a partnership of football teams and players, celebrities, health and advocacy organisations, governments, corporations, and individuals.
This group has united to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the 2010 World Cup being held in Africa, to build support to reach the international target of reducing malaria deaths to near zero by 2015.
As Sarah Kline, executive director from Malaria No More, said: “Football is being used as a vehicle to communicate a serious message to a very broad audience. This raises awareness of malaria and the benefits of using bed nets. Our aim is to ensure every man, women and child at risk of malaria in Africa has access to a mosquito net by the end of 2010.”
It has been announced that the ‘Celebrate Africa -The Grand Finale Concert’ in Johannesburg on 9 July 2010 will be organised in support of United Against Malaria.
David Beckham, a leadership council member for Malaria No More said of the news (and no – he wasn’t there in person!): “I think it’s fantastic that the FIFA Grand Finale Concert is being organised in support of the United Against Malaria partnership.
“As a Dad, I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose a child to malaria. I hope the concert will be an unforgettable moment in maintaining the momentum as players and fans stand United Against Malaria,” concluded David.
The public service announcements can be seen by clicking here.
Launching the PSAs, surrounded by bednet. Left to right: John Lucas (Sumitomo), Sarah Kline (Malaria No More) Mams Yaffa (PSA producer) and Adam Flynn (Sumitomo)
Watching the England match, can they do it…