Top footballers join global fight against Ebola

United Nations, Nov 18: Some of the world's top football players, including Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Neymar Jr, have decided to join the UN effort to help raise global awareness in the fight against Ebola, a UN spokesperson said here Monday.

The World Bank launched a new campaign Monday called "11 Against Ebola" with football players from some of Europe's biggest clubs, Xinhua quoted Farhan Haq, the deputy UN spokesperson, as saying at a daily press briefing.

"Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona's Neymar Jr., Chelsea's Didier Drogba and Bayern Munich's Philipp Lahm are among the players who share 11 simple health messages selected with the help of doctors and health experts using the slogan 'Together, we can beat Ebola' and the hashtag #wecanbeatebola," he said.

Aiming at promoting preventative measures targeting communities affected by the Ebola virus, each message is amplified through animated films, radio content, banners, posters and photographs of the players.

"We all hope this positive campaign will improve people's understanding of the Ebola virus and help us to reduce the chances of it spreading," Neymar Jr said in a press statement.

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said, "By spreading important health messages to children, families, and communities in the Ebola-affected countries, the power of their celebrity will literally help save lives."

A total of 14,413 cases of Ebola virus disease have been reported in six countries (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Spain, and the US) and two previously affected countries (Nigeria and Senegal), the World Health Organisation said in its latest update released Friday. There have been 5,177 reported deaths, it added.


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