A project of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Communication Programs.

For UAM, visibility surges at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations

With help from Voices, the United Against Malaria campaign transformed Africa’s premier football tournament, the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, into a headline-grabbing, star-studded platform for malaria control and elimination messaging.

A year ago, UAM had merely a toehold on the platform that Africa’s preeminent football body, the Confederation of African Football, offered—the Africa Cup of Nations. Today, through football and UAM, public and private sector support for malaria control is gaining traction. 

To date, more than 100 private sector partners and football federations from Voices countries have undertaken at least one of the four pillars of Malaria Safe—education, protection, visibility and advocacy.

UAM spots were distributed across 10 pan-African television and radio stations and locally in 15 malaria endemic countries including Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali and Nigeria.

More than 110 billboards were erected in 15 countries such as Cameroon, Chad, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Senegal, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia.

More than 161,000 copies of GOAL! magazine, UAM’s 8-page signature publication featuring football-themed malaria messages, were distributed in malaria-endemic communities in Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali and Tanzania, as well as in stadium at AFCON matches in South Africa.

African policy-makers and private sector leaders celebrated efforts that have helped shrink the malaria map during a gala dinner in Johannesburg, which included Tanzanian Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda, African Ministers of Health, CAF Secretary General Hicham El Amrani, and other notable supporters (see video below).

The AFCON Closing Ceremony, televised to nearly 700 million people worldwide, featured South African superstar and Roll Back Malaria Goodwill Ambassador Yvonne Chaka Chaka, who debuted the African version of the “Hearts on Fire” malaria anthem.

Voices will continue to leverage these gains for a lasting impact.