“Africa United” campaign highlights power of vaccination to save children’s lives in Africa  


Libreville, Gabon, 27 January 2017 – Football heroes Anthony Laffor, Geofrey Massa and Denis Onyango star in new ‘Every Shot Counts’ TV, radio and print ads, which urge parents to vaccinate their children to protect them from life-threatening diseases. Africa United, an official social cause of 2017 TotalTM Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament, has teamed up with the Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) and public health partners to raise awareness of the importance of immunisation for children to tackle preventable diseases, and achieve universal immunisation coverage across the continent.

“We know that football unites people from all across Africa and beyond,” said Issa Hayatou, President of CAF. “CAF is committed to using the power of football to ensure our players, future players, and most importantly, our fans, lead healthy lives. By supporting ‘Every Shot Counts,’  together, we can help ensure millions of African children are immunised by 2020.”

Vaccination saves between two and three million lives every year. However, one in five African children still don’t have access to basic life-saving vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases remain the most common cause of childhood mortality. The ‘Every Shot Counts’ vaccination campaign, launched in 2016, is an initiative of Africa United, a platform that leverages sport to catalyse action on health, led by CAF and the African Union. Partners include the World Health Organization (WHO) AFRO, CDC Foundation, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, PATH, Special Olympics International, Lions Clubs International Foundation and the World Bank Group.

“Immunisation helps ensure that all individuals start out on an equal playing field in terms of their health,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “Every eligible individual should be immunised with all appropriate vaccines. We are grateful to CAF for their leadership in leveraging the power of sport to bring life-saving messages about the value of vaccines to countries and communities across Africa.”

“Africa’s children are Africa’s future,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi. “If every child receives the vaccines they need, they will be better protected against deadly diseases and can grow up to be healthy and productive adults, making vaccination one of the most cost-effective investments in history. In using the power of football to promote immunisation, this campaign is not only saving lives, but also ensuring a brighter future for Africa.”

“The ‘Every Shot Counts’ campaign provides us with an unparalleled platform to reach audiences with life-savings messages to better protect the health of Africa’s children,” said Chloe Tonney, Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer, CDC Foundation.

The new Africa United announcements, reinforcing the importance of child vaccination, are airing in-stadia during the 2017 AFCON tournament and throughout Africa on TV and radio, including by Africa United partner, SuperSport, and can be viewed on Africa United’s website.

About The Confédération Africaine de Football
The Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) is an international non-governmental organization and the football governing body in Africa. It is currently running 11 competitions amongst which the African Cup of Nations (CAN) and the African Nations Championship (CHAN). CAF was founded in 1957. It has a membership of 54 National Associations. The headquarters is located in Cairo, Egypt. For more information: www.cafonline.com.

About Africa United
Africa United is a platform that leverages sport to catalyse action on health, led by the Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) and the African Union. Partners include the World Health Organization (WHO) AFRO, CDC Foundation, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, PATH, Special Olympics International, Lions Clubs International Foundation, World Bank Group, African leaders, international health bodies, private companies, celebrities, NGOs and other multi-sector actors. Africa United was originally created and deployed in West Africa by KYNE and Speak Up Africa to rebuild trust in healthcare workers during the Ebola crisis. The campaign reached millions of people in West Africa via partnerships with CAF, celebrity footballers, local media, local and international health authorities. To learn more, please visit www.WeAreAfricaUnited.org.

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Media Contacts:
Africa United: Michael Grela, +241 063 412 84; mgrela@KYNE.com
CAF: Junior Binyam, +241 020 741 35; junior.binyam@cafonline.com