The Namibian (Windhoek)

19 November 2012

Namibia: Nation Supports Fifa Health Project

THE Namibian government has endorsed the Fifa 11 for Health programme which will reach its second phase targeting 300 schools next year.

Fifa’s chief medical officer, Dr Jiri Dvorak, on Friday morning met Education Minister Abraham Iyambo and Health Minister Richard Kamwi for an update on the implementation of the programme.

Dvorak said based on the success of the initial roll-out of the programme in about 240 Namibian schools involving well over 10 000 children, Fifa would fund the expansion of the programme to all corners of Namibia by the end of 2013 with the assistance of the Namibian government.

“This programme adds value to education and health and we are impressed with the success of this programme in Namibia and we need the government to reflect on the success of it and help us make it sustainable,” said Dvorak.

Iyambo, who last year officiated at the graduation ceremony of the first implementation programme in Katutura, hailed the 11 for Health programme as “the greatest project” by Fifa to date.

“We are happy to know that the programme is continuing well and our government through the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health is committed to see the value and benefits of this programme and we are very grateful to Fifa and its President Sepp Blatter for this intervention.”

Iyambo invited Blatter to come and witness first-hand the impact that the programme has had in Namibia.

“To Mr Blatter, please do come and visit Namibia one day to witness the children and appreciate how their lives has been changed through this programme. The government will continue to support the NFA and we are proud to have the future of this country changing their attitude towards living healthy.”

Kamwi echoed his colleague’s sentiments and said this initiative was indispensable.

“This could have not come at a more opportune time than this. Fifa’s target with this programme is spot on ... the children, education and health. Football can play a big role in a healthy child. Our nation is the children and we are grateful that Fifa through this will compliment whatever we have and much more.

“We are all candidates to non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular and many others and as a country we are making process but we need more and so thank you Fifa for the efforts.”

Fifa will in the future also take the programme to Namibia’s northern neighbour Angola.

Dvorak said the message of support from the Namibian government was highly appreciated by Fifa and that work on a strategy paper would start soon with various representatives of the two ministries.

“We need to seal this partnership as soon as possible; we don’t have time to waste anymore. We need to make this programme sustainable and so we need to come up with a strategy,” said the Fifa delegate.

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