Ghana Football Association
The national football team of Ghana, the Black Stars, won the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in October, advanced to the finals of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations and the quarter-finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and participated in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. In addition to success on the football field, the team has been busy raising awareness about the prevention and treatment of malaria, in partnership with Voices for a Malaria Free Future and the National Malaria Control Program.
There were 3.2 million cases of malaria in Ghana in 2008, down from 8.3 million in 2006, thanks to a concerted effort from the Ghanaian government and its international partners. But the country has more work to do to end preventable deaths from the disease by 2015. The Black Stars have appeared in public service announcements on behalf of the campaign to help raise public awareness in the country, and they have advocated to other teams and football federations at Africa's biggest sporting events.
“Malaria has held back our country and our continent for far too long,” said Kwesi Nyantakyi, president of the Ghana Football Association in 2010. “The first FIFA World Cup on African soil is a historic occasion and we are going to do all we can to make a difference in the fight against malaria. Everybody should play their part in fighting this disease.”
On behalf of the Black Stars, Nyantakyi received a Golden Boot at a UAM award ceremony where Awa Coll-Seck, executive director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, praised the team. “The Black Stars have wholeheartedly thrown themselves into the fight against malaria and this award is a small token of our collective appreciation of their efforts," she said. "These players are heroes across Africa and if they say sleep under a net, people listen. Mr. Nyantakyi in particular has put a huge amount of personal time and effort into raising awareness on this disease and we hope he continues to do so until we have beaten malaria.”