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RIO+20 The Future We Want

RIO+20 the future we want

Luís Figo: The Future We Want

Luis Fig

Tuberculosis is not a disease from the past. Every year millions of people die from this disease. Most TB cases are found among the poorest populations, where people are malnourished, have a poor standard of living and limited access to the public health system. 98% of all TB cases are found in developing countries, which brings me to the conclusion that poverty is the great social determinant for the existence of tuberculosis.

Sports can be a tool in the fight against poverty, acting as a universal channel that exceeds social barriers, and brings together children, teenagers and adults towards a common goal. Soccer in particular, has the power to unite, inform and educate people, transmitting the values of solidarity, equity, respect and teamwork. It is a democratic sport, where all can participate regardless of their social class. To play you only need a ball, two sticks and the players.

I am proud to be part of the team fighting against tuberculosis. My projects, especially involving kids, have the goal of eradicating this disease from the world. My comic book was launched in 2008 and it has educated children all over the world about TB prevention and care. My wish is to teach people what I have learned playing soccer: teamwork always works better than doing it alone. Through gathering our strengths we can score a goal and beat this disease. I cannot do this alone. I need you allto playon my team.

I want a future where everyone has the right to quality of life and health, where everyone has access to care in fighting this disease, and we can begin to imagine living in a TB free world.

Luís Figo is one of Portugal’s all-time greatest football players and a Goodwill Ambassador against Tuberculosis.