By Alhaji Komba
The Sierra Leone programme of the British NGO, Save the Children on Tuesday presented the 2011-2012 Championship trophy to officials of the Sierra Leone Premier League Board (PLB) at the organisation’s office in Freetown.
The trophy is a key part of Save the Children’s support to the league under its EVERYONE Campaign
Since the beginning of the season all 14 teams of the premier league have delivered messages on women and children’s health to football fans throughout the country.
In particular, captains and coaches have called on men to play a role in women and children’s health because – “Mami en Pikin wel bodi na ol man business.’’ This is in support of the EVERYONE campaign, which seeks to ensure pregnant women, breast feeding mothers and children under five take advantage of the government’s Free Health Care service available in all governmental hospitals across Sierra Leone, and thereby reduce maternal and infant mortality rates in the country.
“For all those men out there reading the sports pages, listening to sport news on radio and attending Premier League matches it is your responsibility as a husband, fiancé’, brother, and father, to ensure that pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and children under the age of 5, access Government health facilities for treatment which is free of charge,” said Ali Readhead, EVERYONE Campaign Manager, Save the Children, while presenting the giant trophy.
“This is great news for men; no longer do you have to pay to take your pregnant wife to the hospital to give birth, no longer do you have to pay to take your sick child to the clinic for treatment (as long as they are under 5). There is no reason to hesitate or delay when the services are free!”
With only a few weeks remaining for the Sierra Leone Premier League, the trophy for the winning team will go on a tour of all the pitches hosting premier league matches, says PLB Chairman Victor Lewis starting at the National Stadium on Wednesday.
According to Readhead, Save the Children will also provide winners’ medals for the football awards ceremony in August.