Guest Blog by: Bremen Leak
Vuvuzelas, makarapa, and malaria awareness. For those of us in South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the celebration of football and sport was also a celebration of life and health.
The United Against Malaria campaign, of which Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is a founding partner, took its life-saving message to South Africa this month for an unforgettable event, FIFAâ€™s grand finale concert. Thousands of people saw firsthand how “the beautiful game” is raising awareness of malaria.
With the spirit of the tournament still in the air, UAM continues to unite governments, companies, soccer federations, health organizations, sports stars, and celebrities to eradicate this deadly disease, using football as the vehicle.
Voices for a Malaria-free Future has played an active role since the campaignâ€™s beginning. We helped develop the UAM brand and directed many of its strategies, partnerships, and initiatives.
We brought world-class soccer players like Kolo TourÃ© of CÃ´te dâ€™Ivoire and Stephen Appiah of Ghana to the campaign and created public service announcements with Ghanaâ€™s Black Stars (see photo) and other football federation partners.
We won the support of political and business leaders, who have educated and protected countless constituents and served as UAM champions in their home countries and abroad.
And we have educated at-risk populations through malaria-themed sports journals, malaria control program resource guides, and UAM publicity bracelets that raise funds for life-saving mosquito nets in Africa.
We’re excited to be a part of this campaign and look forward to the future. Inspired by the World Cup, we know we can do more.