Geneva, Switzerland – Two days before the kickoff of the World Cup Brazil 2014, Didier Drogba, international football star and Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has a video animation which traces the early years of his life in his native country, affected by the pandemic of malaria, and draws attention to a disease that kills to date again, a child every minute.
Although the mortality rate due to malaria in the world have been reduced by over 40% since 2000, the disease still claims the lives of half a million people each year, mostly among pregnant women and young children living in sub-Saharan Africa.
Co-signed by UNDP and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM), the video shows the young Didier Drogba and his friends in the Ivory Coast play football in front of them and fight against the mosquitoes that carry the malaria parasite.
“Victim of malaria, I was a direct witness of the devastating effects of this scourge on individuals and families,” said Drogba. “Fortunately, I was treated in time, and that’s what saved my life. Today, we have an arsenal of effective and affordable tools to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria. But we must work together to ensure that all have access. »
UNDP and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) recently published the Multisectoral Framework for Action fight against malaria to take action in many fields, including education, agriculture, water or land use to ensure the sustainability and profitability of the fight against malaria.
UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said the investment in the fight against malaria were directly oriented to economic growth and human development in recipient countries. “The reduction and eventual elimination of malaria will save millions of lives, but this process will also have a powerful impact on development in malaria-endemic countries. The impact in human terms and economic will be considerable, “she said.
According to Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, the fight against malaria has proven to be among the most profitable activities in the health care field worldwide. “This action allows the most vulnerable people on earth to live a healthier and more productive lives and build a more prosperous future for themselves and their children,” she said.
As for Didier Drogba, captain of the national football team of Côte d’Ivoire and top scorer in the history of the Ivorian team, he was born in Abidjan and spent his childhood in his native Côte d’Ivoire and adopted country, France. Voted best player in the history of English club Chelsea FC by supporters of the club, Didier was the winner of the Turkish league with Galatasaray Istanbul club, in which he played until May 2014. Appointed Goodwill Ambassador of UNDP in January 2007, he has been actively engaged in support of public education to Africa’s challenges and efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“I am very happy that this video can be viewed globally,” said Didier Drogba. “Using the popularity of football to raise awareness should help us to win the match against malaria. We hope that all our fans will be there! “He wished in conclusion.