SOCCER governing body FIFA will launch its disease and lifestyle program FIFA 11 for Health in Port Moresby in July, ahead of the FIFA Under 20 Women’s World Cup.
The program is based on 11 key messages on disease prevention linked to specific actions in soccer – aimed at primary school students.
For PNG, the program will integrate tuberculosis (TB) in its educational messages in order to focus on a disease that is a major public health concern in the country.
The 11 key messages are: play football, respect girls and women, protect yourself from HIV and TB, avoid drugs and alcohol, use treated bed nets, wash your hands, drink clean water, eat a balanced diet, get vaccinated, take your prescribed medication and fair play.
Stop TB Partnership executive director Lucica Ditiu said TB, including multi-drug-resistant TB, was a major public health threat in Papua New Guinea.
“With this joint effort, we hope to raise awareness amongst stakeholders and the general population of the huge risks and implications of TB,” she said.
“Through concrete action, we can increase detection rates of the disease and work to help the country fight it.”
An instructional course for the teachers will be carried out in July, when it will be immediately rolled out in 16 primary schools, with the first certificates to be presented during the FIFA tournament in November.
Announcing the roll-out plan, FIFA chief medical officer Professor Jiří Dvořák said there was a strong partnership between the departments of sport and education and Port Moresby, with both having initiatives to promote a healthier lifestyle and stopping violence against girls and women.
“With the 11 for Health program, we are targeting 11 to 12-year-olds, which is the age when children develop their character and attitude,” professor Dvořák said.
Port Moresby governor Powes Parkop endorsed the program and said he was happy to work with FIFA to roll it out in schools.
“It falls in line with our Active City Development Program, where we are using sport and physical activity as a solution to address the many issues affecting the city and the country as a whole,” he said.
“I have also declared Port Moresby to be a safe city for women and girls, so this partnership will pave new ways to enhance all of the efforts that are being put in place”.
The FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup will be held from 13 November to 3 December 2016.