Gervino distributes nets in Cote d'Ivoire
In the densely populated neighborhood of Abobo, in Cote d’Ivoire’s capital city, football superstar Gervinho stood before a crowd, a pile of insecticide-treated bednets at his back. Holding up a plastic blue package, he urged the children of the Village SOS Orphanage to sleep under a net every night to protect themselves from malaria, a deadly disease that affects mostly young children and pregnant women. The orphanage is close to where he grew up, playing soccer as a young boy on their fields.
The Ivorian footballer known around the world as “Gervinho” is an increasingly active champion in the fight against malaria. The forward who also plays for Arsenal in England has appeared in public service announcements across Africa, joining Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, and other United Against Malaria champions on a global stage. These malaria prevention and treatment messages will air throughout the continent during the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations tournament in January 2013, where the organizers have adopted UAM as an official social cause.