With the FIFA World Cup™ fast approaching, millions of football fans all over the world are holding their breath, hoping that their team’s star players will stay fit and be ready to take their place in world football’s showpiece event. But whilst some may be focusing solely on the health of the players, the attention of Johnson & Johnson, the Exclusive and Official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup, is on the well-being of the Brazilian nation with a series of care-inspiring programmes and medical initatives set to have a long-lasting impact on the health of Brazilians.

At an event yesterday in Sao Paulo, Johnson & Johnson officially launched the Tour do Carinho, a series of initiatives which will touch millions of Brazilians before the end of the World Cup. The Tour do Carinho is grounded in the CARE INSPIRES CARE™ platform and based on the belief that everyone has the power to do extraordinary things in caring for the health and well-being of others.  FIFA.com takes a look at three key programme initiatives:

Blood donation
One of the main initiatives of the Johnson & Johnson programme will be to create one of the biggest blood donation campaigns the country has ever seen. This will be achieved through a national blood donation tour with the goal of collecting 20,000 donations; a total which could result in saving 80,000 lives. Currently, an average of only 1.9 per cent of the Brazilian population donates blood; the World Health Organization recommends that 3-5 per cent of a country’s population should do so in order to maintain sufficient levels.

The blood donation tour will travel through the Brazil 2014 Host Cities where people can donate blood at partner blood banks or on the Johnson & Johnson Care Bus, a mobile donation station.

Celebrating Care
The Johnson & Johnson Champions of Care programme aims to celebrate the stories of those who have helped to make Brazil a better place, amongst three different groups. Firstly, Johnson & Johnson is inviting individuals across Brazil to nominate ordinary people who go above and beyond in caring for others. From this group, 11 people will be recognized as part of the ‘Caring Team’ and have their stories documented and shared with millions of Brazilians. The public will have the opportunity to vote for the most inspiring stories, selecting three top Champions of Care to attend the FIFA World Cup™ Final. Winners will be announced on 9 June.

Secondly, Johnson & Johnson will recognize healthcare institutions that have proven their caring nature through their treatment of patients.

Finally, following a successful first programme at the FIFA Confederations Cup, Johnson & Johnson will once more show their commitment to the support of the almost 15,000 volunteers who will be working at the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. Volunteers who go beyond the call of duty when taking care of visitors and fans during the matches will be recognized as Volunteer Champions of Care.

Health screenings for volunteers
Johnson & Johnson will also provide access to a special area within the Volunteer Centre at every Host City’s stadium where volunteers will be able to benefit from dedicated health screenings focused on oral health, glucose checks, body mass index checks, heart rate checks and access to the Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Workout.

These activities are in addition to the vast healthcare experience which the company will bring to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, helping to take care of fans, medical staff and volunteers. This will involve a range of activities including the brand-new visual identity for all medical facilities and professionals, making it easier for the public and athletes to identify necessary medical assistance during matches at all competition stadiums. Johnson & Johnson has also partnered in standardizing the FIFA Emergency Medical Bags that will be provided to all team physicians which could save athletes' lives on the pitch.