British actor – Idris Elba is the gaffer and his lineup includes the likes of Yaya Toure, Patrick Vieira, Kei Kamara and Carlton Cole among others. Sounds like a well-packaged ideation for some brand’s communication. But it is not.
The personalities are part of a new informational campaign using the power of football to focus on the issue of how to tackle Ebola, the disease that has taken the lives of many in West Africa.
The campaign, which is believed to be the brain child of an the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) foundation in partnership with Africa United, aims at educating the viewer on the do’s and don’t’s when one comes across certain symptoms associated with Ebola.
The announcements also offer praise and backing to fraught West African healthcare workers who are constantly in the line of fire, risking their lives to save others.
Sierra Leone’s Kei Kamara who currently plays with Columbus Crew in the MLS, is one of the players who participated in the advert. And representing his country in recent times has been a burden. He has shelved the idea of any trips temporarily, which would take him back to the region under the fear that he might end up being detained.
Kamara was quoted in NPR’s Goats and Soda as saying, “It’s a project that’s really, really important … We are using the campaign to educate the people not just in Sierra Leone but around West Africa to what’s going on.”
The numbers of those infected by Ebola is increasing though media coverage of it has decreased. Its proven that if you get treatment early, if you are far more likely to endure this dreadful disease and return home to your families.
So, let’s take a moment to pause away from the glitter of the game today for a few moments and consider the situation.
FYI for those who might have come in contact with it: If you are sick, get treatment early. Do not touch people who are ill, do not wash dead bodies, call 117 and seek a safe medical burial. It’s up to all of us and only we can solve this problem and only we can stop the transmission rate.