World Health Organization Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, officially announced in his opening monologue at the 72nd World Health Assembly, the appointment of Liverpool and Brazil star, Alisson Becker, as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Health Promotion.
The 27-year-old Anfield hero, who inspirationally played an integral role throughout Liverpool’s triumphant 2019 UEFA Champions League-winning campaign, the Reds sixth European Cup in the Merseyside club’s richly decorated history, is a staunch advocate and prominent voice for actively promoting health and fitness and healthy life activity, most notably for children around the globe.
WHO’s chief initiative and long-term mission statement for its very positive Health promotion campaign remains paramount in its relentless efforts to expertly promote healthy lives to inspire communities and nations around the entire world to aid adequate required systems and health services to ensure children and adults, irrespective of age or background, can fully achieve and sustain the highest levels of both physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Furthermore, during his poignant announcement during the opening of the 72nd World Health Assembly, WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, furthermore officially announced the appointment of Dr. Natália Loewe Becker as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Health Promotion. Dr. Becker, the wife of Goodwill Ambassador for Health Promotion and Liverpool and Brazil star, Alisson Becker, is a medical doctor and health advocate from Brazil. Furthermore, Dr Becker is a medical doctor and health proponent who is significantly passionate about universally promoting and tirelessly campaigning the advancement of childhood nutrition sanitation in local communities.
Moreover, Cynthia Germanotta, President of Born This Way Foundation, which was co-founded with GRAMMY Award-winning daughter Lady Gaga, was named as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Mental Health at the 72nd World Health Assembly. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia, was officially named as WHO’s Goodwill Ambassador for Health Workforce during Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ opening speech at the event.
FOX Sports Radio 96.9FM/1340AM’s Dean Perretta caught up with WHO Goodwill Ambassador and Liverpool and Brazil star, Alisson Becker, to discuss his very proud association and role as WHO Goodwill Ambassador, the much-awaited and forthcoming WHO initiatives, WHO’s long-term agenda promoting health-based activities and lifestyle, coupled alongside WHO’s high-profile campaign to improve dietary consumption amongst both children and adults.
Dean Perretta: Alisson, can you talk about your role as a Goodwill Ambassador for the World Health Organization and, of course, the very positive experiences of this great partnership so far?
Alisson Becker: My wife Natália and I are proud to support WHO as Goodwill Ambassadors for Health Promotion. For us, this means working with WHO in different ways to help people lead healthier lives. We are passionate about promoting actions that make a real difference in people’s health, from following healthy diets and reducing salt, sugar and trans fat consumption, to being physically active and protecting communities from tobacco. We have had the chance to lend our voices to support a wide range of campaigns, from promoting the benefits of breastfeeding and immunization. We are looking forward to doing more.
Dean Perretta: World Health Organization proudly promotes healthier lives, stronger workforces and improved mental health globally. However, as a professional athlete, can you talk about the very importance of mental health awareness, especially as the goalkeeper for Liverpool and Brazil?
Alisson Becker: You cannot have good all-round health without mental health and wellbeing. Sports, and physical activity offer many ways to help people overcome mental health challenges. Teamwork involves caring, talking and sharing – practicing this is vital for helping people in many ways, to share concerns, avoid pressure and help confront pressure and anxiety. The sheer benefits of physical activity too for promoting mental health are clear.
Dean Perretta: Can you talk about the professional virtues and ethos which initially inspired you to become a Goodwill Ambassador for the World Health Organization?
Alisson Becker: We believe in the importance of evidence and science for taking well-grounded health decisions and actions. This is where WHO is the world’s leading voice. Countries need certainty and clarity on what to do to protect and promote their people’s health, and WHO gives that. We are also impressed with the way that WHO works with one overarching goal – to ensure “health for all” people, of all ages, in all situations. We are committed to helping WHO achieve its aims to help people enjoy healthy lives, to be safe in emergencies and to receive quality care when they need it without falling into poverty.
Dean Perretta: With regards to health and fitness, can you touch on the key events and initiatives which you have personally worked on in conjunction with the World Health Organization?
Alisson Becker: We are active supporters of WHO’s Walk the Talk: The Health for All Challenge series, which is getting thousands of people into the streets around the world, from Geneva to New York, and Manila to Baghdad, and more, to move for health and call for “health for all.” This fun run is not competitive but has attracted world-leading athletes to take part, including Haile Gebrselassie and Mary Keitany. We too hope to take part in the next event in Geneva on 17 May 2020. I am also excited about the potential of the new collaboration between WHO and FIFA to promote health through football.
Dean Perretta: Lastly, can you share the World Health Organization’s overall mission statement and goals that you look to collectively achieve in the long-term as Goodwill Ambassador?
Alisson Becker: We will be working hard to promote WHO’s “triple billion” goals to help improve the health of people worldwide. These goals are ambitious, but achievable, through commitment and partnership between communities, governments and others whose actions impact on health. The clear vision of these goals is so motivating to us. They aim, by 2023, to ensure 1 billion more people benefit from universal health coverage; 1 billion more people are better protected from health emergencies, and 1 billion more people enjoy better health and well-being. As a professional athlete, I am committed to working with my teammates and the broader footballing community, including football followers, to promote these goals. In particular, I think there is much I can do to help people enjoy the benefits of physical activity and healthy diets, as well as showing how it is so important for young people to be given every chance possible to lead healthy lives, protected from avoidable harms, like tobacco-related illness and vaccine-preventable diseases, and shown the correct path to be healthy and strong.