Saturday 12th of July 2014

With the big CECAFA events followers and its accorded live and featured publicity, it's a platform that United against Malaria (UAM) an NGO has embraced in its campaigns. Soccer has now become a powerful tool to kick malaria out of the continent of a billion people where the mosquito-borne disease kills about 2,500 people a day.

United against Malaria campaign is encouraging the journalists to send strong messages to the public, stakeholders and World Leaders through radio, tv, blogs and websites, newspapers and magazines asking them to end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015.

CECAFA and United against Malaria (UAM) are a family with a bid to leverage the power of football to combat malaria by distributing anti-malaria paraphernalia to impoverished communities and raising awareness about the disease.

"I am strongly committed to the fight against malaria. “Soccer can be used to reverse the course of this deadly disease in our region by sensitizing the public in our Cecafa magazine, website and Cecafa Antimalaria Journalists Blog." says Veronica cecafa magazine project coordinator, who is among the journalists who have thrown their weight behind the anti-malaria campaign. She continues to say that football is a vehicle that can drive behavioural change to prioritize anti-malaria campaign across the region, the good news being that Malaria is preventable and curable.

Malaria is a vector-borne disease (caused by single celled parasites, the Plasmodium protozoa, and transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes.

Malaria can also be transmitted from mother to fetus or by blood to blood contact from sharing needles or blood transfusions.

The symptoms of malaria are fever, headache, fatigue, shivering, nausea and vomiting and are particularly dangerous for children and pregnant women. Pregnancy often weakens their immune systems, and the mother can transmit the malaria parasite to the unborn child. Contracting malaria while pregnant greatly increases the chances of maternal anemia, abortion, preterm birth or stillbirth, intrauterine growth retardation and low infant birth weight.

When symptoms occur one should visit a public health center for Malaria testing and treatment. In Kenya malaria treatment is given for free to children under five years.

In the course to prevent Malaria, Indoor residual spraying (IRS) and Insecticide treated nets (ITNs) are considered as the most effective means of mosquito control. It advises for one to sleep under well hanged treated nets.

IRS involves spraying internal walls and ceilings of dwellings using insecticides named DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) an insecticide that remains on the surface for a long time).

Covering areas of stagnant, still water e.g. Water Tanks and clearing of bushes which are ideal breeding grounds for the parasite and mosquito thus cuts down the risk of malaria infection and transmission.

Malaria kills at least one million of those infected each year, which amounts to someone dying every 30 seconds. About 90% of these deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa. Economists have estimated that malaria costs endemic countries 1.3% of GDP annually in lost productivity.

This translates to an annual loss of $12 billion for the entire African continent.

In Kenya malaria kills an estimated 34,000 children less than five years in Kenya annually and is responsible for 30% of outpatient visits. It accounts for 15% of all hospital admissions.

The recommended malaria treatment is sold under the brand name ACTm (Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies) which are effective in clearing malaria parasites from a patient's bloodstream.

In Kenya malaria medicine currently subsidized at Ksh 40 could be sold at the market rate of Ksh 300- Ksh 400 due from shortage of the ACTm drugs. The global fund, a leading multi-lateral financing agency in the fight against malaria buys the first lane medicines directly from manufacturers and distributes them to the private sector.

Kenya is among the seven countries which were chosen in the pilot project by the global fund, the two year affordable program which runs from 2010 to December 2012.

In this campaign the media can also play a big role in participating in the fight against malaria in Africa by being private sector representatives and contributants to the Global Fund’s malaria projects as Champions of Global Health

By Veronica Lusichi

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Salute Origi : Kenyan Divock Origi became the 1st Kenyan to score at the world cup after he turned a listless Belgian performance into a late 1-0 win over Russia on Sunday, enough to qualify for the next round of the World Cup with two straight victories. With this goal, Origi became the youngest goalscorer in Belgium World Cup history at 19 years, 65 days old. With Belgian King Philippe looking on, substitute Kevin Mirallas hit a freekick against the post in 84th minute, setting off a late revival. At first it looked like late moves from Eden Hazard would only camouflage a dismal performance. Playmaker Edin Hazard made a move into the penalty box area on the left and spotted Origi free in the center. A pinpoint pass from Hazard and cool right-foot finishing from the 19-year-old Origi gave Belgium more than it deserved. Divock Origi who is the son of renown former Harambee Stars player Mike Okoth Origi was born at Oostende Belgium and has lived most of his life outside Kenya. Taking into account of his nationality Kenyans could not stay away from celebrating that special moment of fame after he scored like they did for Obama and Lupita Nyong’o. ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
"CECAFA Tournaments are a means of using Sport in general and football in particular to promote peace in the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa.– Secretary General"- Nicholas Musonye
"CECAFA tournaments attract a very wide following across East and central Africa becoming one of the successful soccer body" ,Media Correspondent

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