WHO working with FIFA for Covid awareness during Arab Cup

WHO working with FIFA for Covid awareness during Arab Cup
2 min read
03 December, 2021
WHO will partner with Qatar and FIFA for a coronavirus awareness campaign as vaccine inequality across the poorer countries persist.
The World Cup will take place in Qatar [Getty]

The World Health Organisation is working with Qatari authorities and FIFA to launch a campaign calling for equal access to coronavirus vaccines, tests and treatments, the football governing body said on Friday.

The campaign, called #ACTogether, is using viewership of the Arab Cup tournament, currently taking place in Qatar, as a platform.

There is unequal access to vaccines and treatment for Covid-19. Globally, 7.5 billion doses of coronavirus were vaccines administered by mid-November 2021, yet only 0.6 percent had been administered in low-income countries. Testing in low-income countries remains inaccessible, with only 0.4 percent of Covid-19 tests had been performed in low-income countries.

FIFA said on Friday that it will take advantage of its global viewership with a series of videos for broadcast, both in-stadium and around Doha city, where the global football competition will take place. 

Team captains have agreed to show their support for the campaign, while each participating member association will have content to share with its fans through social media. 

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The #ACTogether awareness initiative was introduced during in Qatar in February 2021, but its latest campaign message urges that the pandemic is far from over.

“Nobody is safe until everyone is safe, and we all have our roles to play in sharing that message. Health comes first, and through football, we can contribute to reinforcing the message that there is a need for equitable access to tools to fight the pandemic worldwide," FIFA President Gianni Infantino said of the initiative.

“The emergence of the Omicron variant underlines the importance of global solidarity and working together to defeat the pandemic. I welcome the strong support from Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, FIFA and partners to support this vital message on the occasion of the FIFA Arab Cup,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO head.

“Now, more than ever, we need to facilitate equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, treatments and tests and encourage everyone to follow public health measures. Fully funding the ACT Accelerator will help make the ambition of ending the acute phase of the pandemic a reality.”