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Friday, 20 November 2009

Can football fever beat malaria in Africa?

The 'United Against Malaria' campaign hopes to use the excitement of preparations for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa to help the continent win the fight against malaria, a preventable disease which kills a child every 30 seconds and nearly one million people per year. The 2010 World Cup is the greatest sports event ever to hit Africa and 'United Against Malaria' will be its winning team," said campaign manager Christina Barrineau at the European launch of the initiative on 16 November. United Against Malaria is a partnership of football teams, celebrities, health advocacy organisations, governments and businesses to renew the global MDGs commitment to ending malaria by 2015 and raise awareness regarding the use of prevention tools and malaria treatments in Africa. The European launch of the initiative took place in Brussels deliberately in order to draw the EU's attention to the disease. Charles Michel, Belgium's minister for cooperation and development who is set to preside over the EU's development councils during the 2010 World Cup planned to give the fight against malaria new impetus at EU-level and better integrate it into sustainable development policies. EU countries already contribute some €13 billion (60%) of global funding of €21 billion to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Source: Euractiv