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

Confederation of African Football commits long-term to UAM

In conjunction with the FIFA Congress 2013 being held in Mauritius this month, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) renewed its long-term commitment to the fight against malaria by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to designate the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership’s United Against Malaria (UAM) campaign as one of the social causes for future football tournaments, including the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). Founded in advance of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, UAM is an alliance of football teams, celebrities, health and advocacy organizations, governments and corporations who have united to beat malaria. Malaria kills a child in Africa every 60 seconds.

“Through our partnership with the United Against Malaria campaign, we have seen the power football has to impact fans in malaria-endemic Africa by promoting life-saving messages about malaria prevention and treatment,” said Issa Hayatou, President of CAF. “We are proud to extend our relationship and support for the UAM campaign by reaffirming our commitment to the Roll Back Malaria Partnership. We understand the challenges ahead in the fight against malaria and remain committed to leveraging our unique position to help advance progress.”

The MOU reflects the successes of UAM’s campaign at the 2013 AFCON tournament, where an estimated billion Africans were reached with life-saving malaria education messages through tournament media, branding and promotional opportunities, including engagement of prominent celebrities and football icons, heads of state and dignitaries.

“We have seen the power of football to engage and inspire communities, particularly in Africa, where 90% of global malaria cases occur, costing the continent an estimated minimum of US $12 billion in lost productivity each year. We encourage fans to listen, learn and act,” said Herve Verhoosel, Head of External Relations for the Roll Back Malaria Partnership. “We thank CAF for its ongoing support in the fight against malaria and we look forward to an exciting and impactful partnership as we work together to overcome this preventable and treatable disease.”

Malaria is caused by parasites that are transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. The disease is preventable and treatable: simple tools like insecticide-treated mosquito nets, rapid diagnostic tests, effective treatments and safe indoor spraying can save lives. Yet despite tremendous progress in recent years, malaria continues to threaten the lives and livelihood of people and businesses across Africa.

For more information, please visit www.UnitedAgainstMalaria.org.

About Malaria

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 coma and death. Although malaria is preventable and treatable, it continues to kill 660,000 people each year. More than 90 percent of these deaths occur in Africa, and the majority of them are children under the age of five. Furthermore, malaria contributes to the cycle of poverty and limits economic development.

About the Confederation of African Football (CAF)

CAF is the governing body of African Football and was founded in 1957 by Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and South Africa. CAF’s 54-member organization is based Egypt. The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is the continent’s premiere football championship, organized biannually by CAF. For more information, please visit www.CAFonline.com.

About the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM)

The Roll Back Malaria Partnership was founded by UNICEF, WHO, UNDP and the World Bank in 1998 as a global framework to coordinate global action against malaria. Today, RBM is a global public-private partnership made up of more than 500 organizations across sectors that provides a neutral platform for consensus-building, developing solutions to challenges in the implementation of malaria control interventions and strategies, promotes high-level political commitment to keep malaria at the top of the global agenda, and monitors progress towards universal goals.

About United Against Malaria (UAM)

UAM 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 worldwide. To learn more about UAM, please visit our website at www.UnitedAgainstMalaria.org and YouTube page and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo, L to R: David Kyne, UAM Campaign Manager; Leodegar Tenga, President of the Tanzania Football Federation and Chair of the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA); Hicham El Amrani, Secretary General of CAF; and Herve Verhoosel, External Relations Manager of RBM

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