Football fans, clubs to rally against polio in India

July 29th, 2011 - 8:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Facebook New Delhi, July 29 (IANS) A partnership among the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Futbol Club (FC) Barcelona, and the Barcelona Foundation will rally football fans to eradicate polio from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria — the four nations where the disease still exists.

The partnership is of three years’ duration, a statement said Friday.

“We have the chance to score a big win against polio, but we need loud and passionate voices to join the fight,” Bill Gates said. “FC Barcelona’s commitment to using sport for social good will help us rally support for vaccines and end polio once and for all.”

Considering that polio cases are at an all-time low, with new funding and increased support polio has the potential to be the second disease eliminated from our planet, after smallpox, the statement added.

FC Barcelona, which has 18 million Facebook fans and multiple Twitter channels with millions of followers, will engage its followers through the social media.

In-stadium advertisements and announcements during matches will highlight the tremendous opportunity the world has to end polio and save millions of lives through childhood vaccination.

The partnership will use the tagline “More than a Goal. End Polio,” a take-off on FC Barcelona’s tagline, “More than a Club.”

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