Celebrities unite against Ebola through Africa United campaign - CNBC Africa

Celebrities unite against Ebola through Africa United campaign

Special Report

by Trust Matsilele 0

Yaya Toure of Manchester City and Ivory Cost has joined the fight against Ebola. PHOTOS: wikimedia/cdnds

The campaign, which was launched at the official draw for the 2015 Orange Africa Cup of Nations, saw the Confederation of African Football (CAF) join football stars, celebrities, international health organisations and corporations to announce the initiative.

(READ MORE: Ebola shrinks west Africa’s poorest economies)

It has also seen support from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation and is driven creatively by actor, Idris Elba.

According to Africa United, the campaign is designed to recognise the vital role of frontline healthcare workers, as well as to provide critical education and resources to the people of West Africa.

Educational messages are expected to be delivered on local and national radio and TV, billboards and by SMS to audiences in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and their neighbouring countries.

“For me the battle against Ebola is a personal one. To see those amazing countries in West Africa where my father grew up and my parents married being ravaged by this disease is painful and horrific,” said Elba.

“Imagine having to sit down and tell your family that you were going to fight this disease. That conversation is happening across West Africa and around the world every day.”

Football players who have also committed to the fight against Ebola in West Africa include Yaya Touré, Carlton Cole, Kei Kamara, Patrick Vieira, Fabrice Muamba and Andros Townsend.

The players acknowledged that, while fans regard them as heroes, the healthcare workers tackling Ebola are the true heroes.

As a result of this, each player will wear the name of a healthcare worker on his back as a symbol of respect for “the world’s most important team.”

Touré, an Ivorian professional football player, said he wanted to support this campaign for so many reasons.

(READ MORE: Africa’s growth prospects and the impact of Ebola)

“I could not sit back without doing something to help fight Ebola. It is important we don't treat this as something we just discuss with work colleagues or simply follow on the news for updates - instead our focus should be to do something,” he said.

"I also wanted to get involved with this campaign as it pays tribute to the many, many African heroes who are in the villages, towns and cities using their skills, resourcefulness and intelligence to battle Ebola.”

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