The Liberia Football Association (LFA) has formally launched what it described as a one-month awareness and sensitization campaign at the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, under the slogan “Stop the Stigma against Ebola Survivors and Ebola is still real.”
The anti-Ebola campaign, according to the LFA acting president Musa Shannon, focuses on two main issues; the stigma that associates with this deadly virus and the difficulties that it is causing survivors and their loved ones, when they try to reintegrate into their communities.
He said the campaign is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
He made the announcement yesterday during the regular Ebola Hour at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT).
“We must make sure that we stop stigmatizing survivors, during this awareness campaign we will spread the message of tolerance, empathy and understanding,” Mr. Shannon said.
He said former Lone Star players of the George Weah 11, who are currently serving as coaches would share each health message, such as “Report unusual illnesses,” and “Stop the Stigmatization against Ebola Survivors,” to improve public understanding about how the virus spreads, and to provide clear information that can be used to reduce the chances of the virus spreading in affected communities as well as to stop stigmatization of Ebola survivors.
“Our second priority is to continue to let the public know that Ebola is still real and we must demand that communities continue to follow all of the safety protocols that we have been following for the last seven months” Shannon noted.
This is the first emergency health campaign of its kind to be implemented by the LFA since the Liberian football body suspended all football activities on Monday, July 28, 2014.
Shannon said the LFA is inspired by the dedication of medical personnel at the battlefront.
Through the popularity of football, Shannon said he is convinced that the anti- Ebola campaign would reach Liberians in the 15 counties.
“One of the major reasons why we know that we will be effective with this awareness campaign is because we are using the people you know and love to deliver the message,” Shannon said.
Meanwhile, some of the players in the campaign will include
Christopher Wreh, formerly of Arsenal, James Salinsa Debbah, formerly of A.S Monaco, Olympique Lyonnais, OGC Nice and Paris Saint-Germain and Kervin Sebwe, who played in France, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates and Greece.
The remaining former players are Musa Shannon, (Tampa Bay Tunity and Carolina Dynamo in the US), Dionysius "Dion" Sebwe, (Park College and the Kansas City Wiz) and Oliver Markor, who played in Greece.