A project of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Communication Programs.

2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations kicks off in South Africa

This weekend the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) kicked off in Johannesburg, where United Against Malaria partners are working hand in hand with the Confederation of African Football (CAF), to ensure that malaria prevention and treatment messages reach millions of football fans throughout Africa.

Founded in advance of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, United Against Malaria is an alliance of football teams, celebrities, health and advocacy organizations, governments and corporations who have united together against malaria. As part of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership, UAM is made up of over 200 partners from diverse sectors and continents who invest their experience, time, funds, skills and enthusiasm because they share a common goal—to end malaria, which accounts for 174 million cases and 600,000 deaths in Africa every year. With programs in several priority countries, Voices for a Malaria-Free Future represents JHUCCP as a key partner.

To ensure that malaria shares headlines with football, UAM has planned an ambitious campaign that it will roll out during the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Via pan-African television and radio spots, millions of viewers and listeners will learn about anti-malarial nets, diagnostics and treatment. These spots feature internationally recognized African football stars players, including Didier Drogba (Cote d’Ivoire), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon) and Chris Katongo (Zambia). (See the United Against Malaria page on YouTube, www.youtube.com/uamalaria, to view these and other spots.) More than 75 billboards in 13 countries will reinforce the malaria prevention messages.

For travelers to the games, UAM has prepared a special video that will be aired by South Africa Airways and Mango Airlines. And on the web, UAM has launched a Facebook competition to increase awareness of the campaign’s goals: www.facebook.com/unitedagainstmalaria

To help place malaria front and center at the games, UAM presented at the official tournament press briefing Friday, addressing reporters from major news outlets and supplying information that journalists can integrate into their coverage. On Saturday, CAF officially introduced UAM as a selected social cause of the tournament, airing a three-minute video about the campaign and officially launching the 30-second UAM television spot featuring Drogba.

During each AFCON game, UAM and CAF have planned the following activities:
• A 2.5-minute video broadcast in stadium, providing an overview of the campaign and its role during the tournament, as well as a 90-second halftime video featuring football stars Drogba or Eto’o
• UAM branding on the sidelines
• UAM branding on the uniforms of all 704 player escorts
• In-stadium distribution of UAM’s signature magazine, GOAL!, [link] which features a combination of tournament information, malaria prevention and treatment messages, and advocacy messages
• UAM and malaria press materials for journalists and officials
• CAF distribution of UAM bracelets, which raise money for insecticide-treated nets in malaria-endemic regions of Africa, to a select number of VIPs.
• CAF dissemination of UAM messaging to all 16 qualifying teams
• UAM branding and messaging for sports commentators during television broadcasts

A UAM cocktail reception and dinner will honor high-level champions of the campaign on February 9. The following day, UAM will participate in the AFCON closing ceremony.

Beyond South Africa, a number of activities will take place during the three-week tournament, from an SMS campaign in DR Congo to a UAM celebration for new private sector partners in Cote d’Ivoire. For a full list of Voices' private sector partners, see the file below.

For the most up-to-date information about UAM, please visit the UAM Facebook page: www.facebook.com/unitedagainstmalaria

More information about UAM is available at www.unitedagainstmalaria.org.