The Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) president Leodegar Tenga yesterday said the war against Malaria is crucial for the development of football in the region.
Tenga was speaking during the closing of one day training for media practitioners in the United against Malaria initiative organised by CECAFA and the John Hopkins, Center for Communication Program.
He said all eleven member states of the council are prone to malaria endemic halting efforts to develop the game.
Tenga said time has come for footballers to use their numbers and popularity to promote the campaign against Malaria.
Players should reach spectators to promote the message on the dangers of the endemic and the preventative measures.
“A combined population of 260 million people in the CECAFA block, there are 38.9 million combined reported cases of Malaria and 209,000 deaths annually.
It’s my heartfelt wish to see the game of football used to promote the massage on the dangers of Malaria and how it can be prevented”, he said.
He urged all sportsmen and women in the region and beyond to promote the message on the dangers of the endemic, saying promoting the message is one of the ways to say thank you to the society for supporting football development.
Tenga, who is also the President of Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), urged all CECAFA member countries to take the initiative on Malaria fight to all places where the game is played.
Speaking earlier, John Hopkins, Program Officer Bremen Leak said the game of football has powers to reach to many people with the message on the fight against Malaria. He said football has lost many people who would have contributed to its growth, development and popularity.
He asked all people to seek medical advice when they develop signs and symptoms of Malaria as the endemic is curable and preventable.