FIFA joined CAF and top players around the world to launch a media campaign aimed at fighting the outbreak of the Ebola disease in West Africa.
Ebola has killed over 5,160 people so far and it s threatening spread even further, and this occasioned the media initiative aimed at educating the people on the dangers of the disease and how to eradicate it.
CAF President Issa Hayatou stated “we will do our utmost to relay all messages to the African community” and has directed that the “We Can Beat Ebola” display must be used prior to kick off in all Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches of Wednesday 19 November.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter on his own part, expressed hope that football can contribute to the eradication of the disease and that the impact of the messages will be felt on the ground.
The popular media campaign saw top football players around the world which included current World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo, Brazilian Neymar as well as Didier Drogba and John Obi Mikel hold up a message reading “We Can Beat Ebola”, and circulated to media organisations worldwide.
In the release, FIFA and CAF jointly gave 11 precautions to the people of Africa in trying to stop the spread of the disease.
The 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.
Hayatou and Blatter went on to praise and thank the emergency and health workers on the ground, who are displaying selflessness in their duties and expressed hope that Ebola will become a thing of the past in the not-too-distant future.