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FA Signs on to ‘United Against Malaria’   
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The Ghana Football Association has kicked off a global campaign, ‘United Against Malaria’, aimed at reducing the prevalence of the deadly disease and completely halting it by 2014.

In Ghana, statistics show that one in every five childhood deaths results from malaria. A collaboration between the FA and Ministry of Health, Malaria Control Programme and the John Hopkins University seeks to use sports, that’s football, to campaign against malaria. This arrangement forms part of the millennium declaration which will use multi and inter-sectoral partnerships working together on an agreed plan to reduce death and illness due to malaria.

For the Ghana Football Association which already has a philanthropic history having partnered organizations in social, educational and humanitarian activities in the country, the move forms part of their social responsibility.

"We are proud to be part of this wonderful project. Malaria has really cost the nation a lot. Lots of human resource has been lost due to the incidence of malaria and football is also a victim of this global disease. "Gradually, the statistics show that improvements have been made. But we (FA) and all our partners believe enough can be done to save lives.

"The Ghana Football Association is happy to play such a crucial role in highlighting the need to use the of insecticide treated nets (ITNs), early detection and appropriate prompt treatment all aimed at controlling and preventing it,” FA President, Kwesi Nyantakyi who is the Team Captain for Ghana's ‘United Against Malaria’ said.

The plan by Ghana is to reduce the prevalence of the disease by 50% next year, which will see the Black Stars continue the campaign at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.By the 2014 World Cup, the country hopes to have completely halted the incidence of malaria, which is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Ghana.

Under the terms of the partnership, the Black Stars will wear branded warm up shirts when they play Mali, who have also signed up to the campaign in Sunday’s 2010 Nations Cup and World qualifying match.

Parts of the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, the venue for Sunday’s game will be branded to represent the campaign, ‘United Against Malaria’.

The FA will also make available to the campaign sporting icons for a TV production which will involve deputy Ghana coach Akwesi Appiah and players of the Black Stars in a dressing room scene before kick off against Mali where the strategy to kick out the disease will be issued out with the players rallying on.

According to the FA President, Kwesi Nyantakyi, the team campaign is ‘Victory In The Net’ with any goal scored on Sunday in Kumasi and at the 2010 CAN and World Cup represents a goal against malaria.

Source: ghanafa

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