TB on the agenda at the World Cup

6 July 2010 - Johannesburg, South Africa - Tuberculosis is on the agenda at the Football for Hope Festival 2010 - an official event of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa - which opened Sunday in Johannesburg. The week-long event celebrates the power of football for social change, with 32 teams of young people from disadvantaged communities around the world gathering for a festival of football, culture, education and entertainment. The boys and girls are members of organizations that use football to tackle issues ranging from homelessness in the UK and landmines in Cambodia to health education in South Africa and the integration of refugees in Australia.

South African President Jacob Zuma and FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter opened the festival, with Zuma's remarks highlighting the social aspects of football and its power to bring communities together and Blatter's focussing on the importance of health for youth development.

The young footballers each received a copy of Luís Figo and the World Tuberculosis Cup, the educational comic book featuring Stop TB Ambassador and international football icon Luís Figo. TB has been discussed in the context of training workshops on HIV/AIDS, and teens from several countries heavily affected by TB participated in an interactive information session on TB prevention and treatment, expressing their appreciation of Figo's "cool" messages. Stop TB partners present at the event also have been reaching out to participants, encouraging them to include TB in their health promotion programmes.

The festival was organized by FIFA, streetfootballworld, the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa and the City of Johannesburg.