07 April 2014

A Strong Offense is the Best Defence Against Dengue

 OFC Champions league match 
© UNICEF Pacific/2014/Melissa Palombi
Joining forces to help celebrate World Health Day, the Oceania Football Confederation, Fiji Football Association, the Ministry of Health Fiji and UNICEF Pacific link sport and dengue to support the Kick Dengue Out campaign at the OFC Champions League tournament.

 With over 20,000 people in Fiji infected with dengue since the outbreak in October 2013, creating a link between sport and messages on dengue has allowed for the delivery of critical information to a broad audience across the Pacific.

Seen as one of the most popular competitions on the OFC calendar, the Champions League provides a platform through which the promotion of messaging on dengue can reach a regional and global audience.  

OFC President David Chung shares his perspective: “We are delighted to share this stage with our stakeholders and will promote these messages strongly throughout the duration of this season’s Champions League competition”.

Reinforcing his enthusiasm, UNICEF Pacific Representative Karen Allen adds: “Linking sport with key health messages allows for the delivery of critical information in an interactive and engaging way.  As with any sport, having a strong team is the key to success”.  

Taking place April 7 to 15 in Fiji, messages on dengue will be delivered through public announcements at all matches.  Audience members at each match will also receive a copy of the Do you think you or your family member may have dengue? pamphlet provided by the Ministry of Health Fiji.

Minister for Health, the Honourable Dr Neil Sharma reminds the public that it is everyone’s responsibility to help Kick Dengue Out of Fiji.  “It is very important for people to understand that this is a totally preventable disease.  This disease affects people living together and having stagnant water around their environment.  We all know that mosquitos only travel about 100 meters, and that if you keep your environment and your home clear of stagnant water then you would be safe” stated the Minister in his interview with OFC TV.

It is important to remember that the fight against dengue requires a strong offense!  Everyone must know how to keep their environment clean, safely destroy breeding sites and when to wear insect repellant.  Knowing the signs and symptoms as well as understanding how to take care of someone with dengue, will ensure that everyone in Fiji works together as one team to help kick dengue out!

Download the Ministry of Health Fiji’s Do you think you or your family member may have dengue? pamphlet

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