A new phenomenon of using the world’s popular sport – football is leading the campaign against the spread and containment of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) by the Liberia Football Association.
The Ebola campaign, which will kick-off in early March, is under the theme: “STOP THE STIGMA AGAINST EBOLA SURVIVORS AND EBOLA IS STILL REAL.”
The supposedly nationwide campaign is expected to last for three months and is sponsored by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
Former Lone Star players are expected to use the game of football across the country, to sensitize Liberians to “live safe and protect themselves, their family and society.”
Ex-Liberian international football icons will also boost the awareness to ensure that Ebola survivors are reintegrated into society and that they can become productive again.
The campaign will mark the second LFA/SADC’s Ebola awareness.
According to LFA vice president for administration, Musa Shannon, during the nationwide campaign, there will be entertaining football matches between former Lone Star players and County All Stars. In some counties, there will be all counties All Stars’ affair and former Lone Star players will serve as technicians.
Musa stated that the president of the LFA, Musa Bility will serve as their head coach.
According to Musa, some of Liberia’s most famous footballers, who are household names when it comes to what they have done on the pitch and for this country, will include the likes of James Debbah, current head coach of the Lone Star, Kervin and Dionysius Sebwe, the most famous brothers to play for the Lone Star, Oliver Makor, recently retired, and Christopher Wreh, formerly of Arsenal, amongst others.
The first Ebola campaign, which was valued at US$13,000, lasted for a month.
Former Lone Star players used newspapers and radio programs in the fight against stigmatization of Ebola survivors and erected a bus stop on 12th Street, Sinkor in Monrovia.
“We successfully spread the message of tolerance, empathy, and understanding on the de-stigmatization of Ebola survivors,” Musa said. “We also informed the public that Ebola is still real, and we must continue to follow all of the safety protocols.”
Musa said, “We must hail the media for the success of the one month Ebola campaign, and hope working with them, especially the local media as we use the game of football to urge the people of Liberia to stay safe to reach the zero infection rate.”
“On behalf of the Liberia Football Association, I would like to thank the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation for a possibly another deal to campaign against the pandemic,” he said.