Imagine a football team at the World Cup, just standing around the field watching as the other team breezes right past them and scores a goal. Without taking action to not only help the sick, but protect the healthy, then we, as global citizens, are letting Ebola win this game of life and death.
According to the World Health Organization, as of Nov. 9, a total of 14,098 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of Ebola virus disease have been reported in six countries. There have been 5,160 deaths. Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have seen the highest number of cases.
Eleven of the world’s most famous football players, including Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Brazil’s Neymar Jr., and Spain’s Gerard Piqué, are joining the fight with the 11 Against Ebola campaign, a public-health awareness and education campaign in conjunction with African doctors, the World Bank Group, other medical institutions and local experts.
It’s a cliché, but it works: The best defense is a good offense. Through animated films, radio content, banners, posters, and photographs, each of the 11 players reveals critical information to prevent infection: “don’t touch the dead,” “practice safe sex,” and “cook meat thoroughly.”
“It’s inspiring to see the world’s top football players come together to help in the fight against Ebola,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “By spreading important health messages to children, families, and communities in the Ebola-affected countries, the power of their celebrity will literally help save lives.”
The World Bank Group is mobilizing nearly $1 billion in financing for the countries hardest-hit by the Ebola crisis. This includes $500 million for the emergency response and the speedy deployment of foreign health workers to the countries and $450 million from the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, to enable trade, investment and employment in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
There’s one key player missing: you.
“It is so important that we get the right information to those affected by the Ebola outbreak,” said Neymar Jr. in a news release. “We all hope this positive campaign will improve people’s understanding of the Ebola virus and help us to reduce the chances of it spreading. Let’s all get behind this campaign to help our brothers and sisters in the worst-hit regions.
“Together, we can beat Ebola.”
How you can help:
- Raise awareness by using the hashtag #wecanbeatebola.
- Share “Together, We Can Beat Ebola” on your broadcast and social media channels.