11 Against Ebola: FIFA, CAF unite in Ebola fight


CAF has joined hands with FIFA and several top players to launch a campaign which highlights its commitment to the global fight against the Ebola virus and raising awareness to implement preventative measures to halt its spread.

The campaign, called “11 Against Ebola”, features specially designed messages with the help of animated films, radio content, banners, posters, pictures in a multimedia campaign launched November 17.

CAF has since engaged all its member associations in the campaign and during the final round of qualifiers for the Orange Africa Cup of Nations 2015, competing teams displayed the “Together we can beat Ebola” banners prior to kickoff of all Match Day 6 fixtures that were played on November 19.

Underneath the positive slogan “Together, we can beat Ebola” and the hashtag #wecanbeatebola, players share each health message, such as “Report unusual illnesses” and “Cook meat properly”, which have been chosen to improve public understanding about how the virus spreads, CAF said in a statement posted on its official website.

The football governing body added that the campaign will further provide clear information that can be used to reduce the chances of the virus spreading in affected communities.

“This is the first emergency health campaign of its kind implemented by FIFA and CAF and is inspired by the dedication of medical personnel at the battlefront of the fight against Ebola. The campaign is designed to provide a reassuring, positive message to affected communities with simple and clear information that can help to combat the spread of the Ebola virus,” CAF said.

Through the power and popularity of football, the 11 Against Ebola campaign seeks to reach as wide an audience as possible in the most affected regions and globally by joining forces with top international football players, the World Bank, FIFA and CAF member associations, local organisations and the media, said the football body.

The campaign features to footballers including FIFA World Player of the Year and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo; Barcelona’s Neymar Jr, Chelsea’s Didier Drogba and Bayern Munich’s Philipp Lahm.

Other players involved at the start of the campaign are Gareth Bale (Real Madrid/Wales), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid/France), Neymar Jr. (Barcelona/Brazil), Gerard Piqué (Barcelona/Spain), Xavi (Barcelona/Spain), Jérôme Boateng (Bayern Munich/Germany), John Obi Mikel (Chelsea/Nigeria), George Davies (Sierra Leone) and Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola.

The 11 simple health messages to be promoted through the campaign have been selected by doctors and health experts from Africa, the World Bank and the World Health Organisation tackling the outbreak in West Africa.

In thanking FIFA, the World Bank, the World Health Organisation, the national football associations of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, the football players and manager and the Michael Essien Foundation for their support in this campaign, CAF President Issa Hayatou said: “CAF and its Executive Committee fully support this important initiative, and we will do our utmost to relay all the key messages to the African communities, starting from the last phases of the qualifiers of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations 2015.”

FIFA President Sepp Blatter was quoted as saying: “We hope that football can play its part and that this campaign against Ebola can make a real difference on the ground as the world comes together to fight the virus and to help those living in affected communities.”

And the brain behind the campaign, FIFA Chief Medical Officer Prof. Jirí Dvorák said: “We doctors have experienced the power of football when it comes to prevention and health, while successfully implementing the ‘FIFA 11 for Health’ programme in 15 African countries as part of the medical legacy of 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Now we are using the same system to tackle Ebola, by presenting simple educational messages to prevent the spread of the disease through the voices of football stars – ‘When football talks, everybody listens”.

According to the World Health Organisation, as of 9 November 9, 2014, a total of 14,098 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of Ebola have been reported. There have been 5,160 deaths. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have seen the highest number of cases.


The 11 Against Ebola messages are:

1. Report unusual illnesses: please report any strange illnesses or deaths in your community.

2. Know the symptoms: do you have a fever with a loss of appetite, headache, fatigue, pain, vomiting, bleeding or diarrhoea? Know the symptoms of Ebola.

3. Seek immediate medical help: please seek urgent medical help if you have a fever with additional symptoms.

4. Avoid body contact: avoid direct, skin and body contact with anyone suffering from Ebola.

5. Wash your hands and disinfect: wash your hands regularly and disinfect anything touched by suspected or confirmed Ebola sufferers.

6. Wear proper protection: wear gloves and proper protective clothing if you are caring for an Ebola sufferer, get the appropriate education.

7. Cook meat properly: cook all meat and animal products thoroughly before consumption.

8. Always practise safe sex: use protection if you are having sex with anyone recovering from Ebola.

9. Avoid contact with wild animals and bats: wild animals and fruit bats can carry the Ebola virus. Avoid them or wear protective clothing.

10. Do not touch the dead: avoid direct contact with dead Ebola victims or anyone who has died from a strange disease.

11. Seek help for safe burials: please seek help from local authorities to bury any victims of Ebola or strange diseases. – Cafonline




November 2014
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