Tournament organizers highlight the need for malaria prevention and treatment and sustained support from the football world, the private sector and policy makers
At a press conference to kick off the CECAFA Tusker Cup 2010 this week, partners and supporters of the United Against Malaria (UAM) campaign joined together with tournament organizers in Dar Es Salaam to shine a spotlight on the fight against malaria in East and Central Africa where 38.9 million children and adults suffer from malaria and over 209,000 die each year, comprising nearly a quarter of all malaria deaths on the continent. While preventable and treatable, a child in Africa dies of malaria every 45 seconds and the disease causes untold suffering and poverty.
CECAFA Chairman Leodegar Tenga said, “ Football needs a healthy society to thrive. It requires healthy players, administrators, coaches, referees and, most importantly healthy fans. Without them you cannot develop the game. A malaria infected society is not a healthy one and it is only logical that we support the UAM campaign.”
With twelve East and Central African national teams, as well as guest teams from Malawi, Zambia and Ivory Coast gathering in Dar Es Salaam for the CECAFA Tusker Cup 2010, CECAFA’s top administrators in the region announced that they had committed to using its influence to help reduce the impact of malaria and ensure their players are protected from malaria, as part of their commitment in joining the UAM partnership.
“The strong support UAM has received from CECAFA and the Tanzanian Football Federation is a testament to their leadership in the fight against malaria,” said David Kyne, United Against Malaria’s Campaign Manager. “Football federations, national teams and players are using the popularity of their sport to educate fans in their communities about the need for access to tools like mosquito nets, diagnostics tests and effective drugs should they fall ill.”
Underlining the strong commitment from the private sector to UAM, the tournament’s corporate partner is also lending its support to the campaign’s goal of encouraging companies to become malaria safe.
"As sponsors of the CECAFA Tusker Cup 2010, we are committed to joining with the United Against Malaria campaign and becoming a malaria safe company to ensure our employees have access to malaria prevention and treatment tools," said Caroline Ndungu, Director of Marketing for Serengeti Breweries Limited. "We are today committing to purchasing mosquito nets for all of our employees here in Tanzania."
UAM activities throughout the tournament include public service announcements being aired during television broadcasts, on field educational branding during each match, UAM training/warm up shirts for teams and mascots as well as information and educational messaging included in the official tournament program.
Malaria is a disease caused by parasites and is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. If left untreated, the infection in its most severe forms can lead to a coma and death. Malaria is preventable and treatable, but continues to kill a child every 45 seconds and overall nearly one million people each year. Malaria contributes to the cycle of poverty and limits economic development.
United Against Malaria is a partnership of football teams and heroes, celebrities, health and advocacy organizations, governments, corporations, and individuals who united to win the fight against malaria. Our goal is to galvanize partners throughout the world to reach the United Nations target of universal access to mosquito nets and malaria medicine in Africa by the end of 2010, a crucial first step to reaching the international target of reducing deaths to near zero by 2015. www.UnitedAgainstMalaria.org
Founding partners include Comic Relief, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Malaria No More, ONE, PATH, PSI (Population Services International), the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, the United Nations Foundation, and the United Nations Special Envoy for Malaria.
Major international corporate partners also include ExxonMobil, Nando’s, Novartis, Pfizer, Sumitomo and Vestergaard Frandsen, MTN, Standard Bank, DSG, Exclusive Books, Nikon, Africa Fashion International, Africa Geographic Magazine, Anglo American, Super Sport, MNet, Endemol, Big Brother Africa, Sasol, &Beyond, Wildcam, Syngenta and Premier Medical Corporation Limited.
About CECAFA Tusker Cup 2010
Twelve teams from the Council of East and Central Africa Football Association (CECAFA) are taking part in the tournament whose title sponsor is Serengeti Breweries through the Tusker Brand. Participating countries include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Zanzibar, Ethiopia and Sudan. Additional invited teams include Ivory Coast, Malawi and Zambia. For more information: www.cecafa.net.
Press Contacts :
Tanzania & Africa: Fina Mango email@example.com Tel: +255 767 884 000
US & Europe: David Kyne; d firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +1 917 96 93 904