Liberian ex-soccer star Weah records Ebola song

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Liberian ex-soccer star Weah records Ebola song
In this photo taken on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, Liberian soccer star George Weah smiles inside a room in the city of Monrovia, Liberia. Liberia’s world famous soccer star George Weah has produced a song to raise awareness about Ebola, the deadly disease ravaging West Africa. Weah, who before he retired was FIFA’s player of the year, is now a politician and singer.(AP Photo/Jonathan Paye-Layleh)
Opposition party supporters, known as CDCians after the name of the party, listen as party leader George Weah, not pictured, speaks, outside opposition party headquarters in Monrovia, Liberia Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011. An election that was supposed to solidify peace in this nation emerging from war was marred by dismal turnout Tuesday, after the opposition went ahead with a boycott despite last-minute appeals from the United States and the United Nations Security Council. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Opposition leader George Weah, left, is protected by United Nations peacekeepers from Nigeria as he speaks to supporters at opposition party headquarters in Monrovia, Liberia Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011. An election that was supposed to solidify peace in this nation emerging from war was marred by dismal turnout Tuesday, after the opposition went ahead with a boycott despite last-minute appeals from the United States and the United Nations Security Council. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Opposition presidential candidate Winston Tubman, right, and running mate George Weah sit together without speaking at a rally urging their supporters to boycott next week's presidential vote, in Monrovia, Liberia Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011. Tubman announced Friday he is pulling out of the November 8 presidential runoff election, a move that would guarantee victory for the country's ruling party but would rob the electoral process of its legitimacy.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Liberian opposition vice presidential candidate George Weah waves to supporters at a rally urging party faithful to boycott next week's presidential polls, in Monrovia, Liberia Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011. Opposition presidential candidate Winston Tubman announced Friday he is pulling out of the November 8 presidential runoff election, a move that would guarantee victory for the country's ruling party but would rob the electoral process of its legitimacy.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Vice Presidential candidate George Weah, a former soccer star popular with Liberian youth, holds up his marked legislative ballot as he expresses concern about slow-drying ink invalidating ballot papers by causing extra marks, at a polling station at Kendeja Community School in Monrovia, Liberia Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011. Liberian voters queued for hours in the rain Tuesday morning as they waited to vote in Liberia's presidential election, expected to serve as a referendum on the performance of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first democratically elected female head of state. Sirleaf faces a stiff challenge from Weah and opposition presidential candidate Winston Tubman. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Supporters of opposition party presidential candidate Winston Tubman and running mate George Weah cheer from behind security agents, on the final day of campaigning ahead of Tuesday's presidential elections, in Monrovia, Liberia Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011. Africa's first democratically elected female president, who was honored this week with a Nobel Peace Prize, will face stiff competition at Liberia's presidential polls Tuesday against a fiery opposition candidate and his soccer-star running mate.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Liberian-born former AC Milan striker George Weah looks at displays of the J-League during a visit to Japan Football Association in Tokyo Monday, Jan. 21, 2008. Weah accepted an appointment of general manager of Japan's brand-new football club Valiente Koriyama which was set up on Jan. 19, aiming at playing in the Japan's soccer league. (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara)
Africa XI George Weah, right, chases Rest of the World XI Emilio Butraguena, left, during the 90 Minutes for Mandela" match against Rest of the World XI at the Newlands Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa, Wednesday, July 18, 2007. The game, serve as a tribute to the former South African President Nelson Mandela's 89th birthday celebration. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
George Weah, 1995 World's Best Soccer Player speaks to reporters after a press conference on "Fight Against AIDS/International Drug Purchase Facility" at United Nations headquarters in New York where he attends the General Assembly 60th session, high level meeting on HIV/AIDS Friday, June, 2, 2006. (AP Photo/David Karp)
George Weah, 1995 World's Best Soccer Player, right, Maria Soledad Barria, second from right, Minister of Health of Chile, Celso Luiz Nunes Amorim, second from left, and Philippe Douste-Blazy, French Foreign Minister, left, speak to reporters at the United Nations headquarters in New York where they attended the General Assembly 60th session: high level meeting on HIV/AIDS Friday, June, 2, 2006. (AP Photo/David Karp)
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By JONATHAN PAYE-LAYLEH

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) - Liberia's world famous soccer star George Weah has produced a song to raise awareness about Ebola, the deadly disease ravaging West Africa.

Weah said he hopes the song will help stop the spread of Ebola, which has so far killed 961 in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Nearly 2,000 people have been infected with the disease, and health officials have said they are struggling to contain it.

"Let us all arise and come together to fight Ebola; Ebola is real," the lyrics of the song exhort. Experts say fear and misunderstanding of Ebola have led many to ignore medical advice, fueling the disease's spread. Some even doubt the disease's existence.

Liberian authorities have tried several ways to get the message across that the disease is real and that people with symptoms must seek medical care. Everyone has been encouraged to their wash hands frequently, avoid contact with the sick and to suspend traditional burial practices that involve touching the corpse.

Weah, who before he retired was once named FIFA's player of the year, is now a politician and singer; he has run for president twice.

He said Liberia's Health Ministry asked him to join their efforts to raise awareness, so he worked with the Ghanaian musician, Sidney, to record the song. Proceeds from sales will go to the Liberian Health Ministry.

During a performance Sunday night, Weah said he feared that if nothing is done the disease will spread beyond the four countries.

"I know Africa will be affected if we don't take it seriously," he said.

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