Action Meningitis BBC Radio 4 Appeal

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Our patron, popular TV and radio presenter Kirsty Young, appealed on BBC Radio 4 for support for our Action Meningitis project tackling meningitis in Malawi.

Kirsty is a meningitis survivor and knows only too well how important prompt action is when diagnosing this devastating disease.

In Africa meningitis is often misdiagnosed for milder illnesses or mistreated as malaria. Globally an estimated 1,000 people die from meningitis every single day and many others are left seriously disabled in countries ill-equipped to support them.

In Malawi, half the children who get meningitis die. Health clinics are over stretched and overcrowded. Very sick children wait hours; some die before ever being seen. 

Meningitis Research Foundation's Action Meningitis health initiative improves chances of survival by empowering healthworkers to identify severe illnesses like meningitis quickly and accurately - so emergency cases are fast-tracked to hospital.

In Malawi 100,000 children have been helped in the last year.

With your support we could extend that number. £150 buys triage technology for rapid assessment of symptoms using a mobile phone, and £60 trains a healthworker how to use it.

More about Action Meningitis 


A health surveillance assistant patrols the queues at the medical centre, using a special programme on their mobile phones to identify sick children and track referrals.

Kirsty Young

Patron Kirsty Young has first hand experience of meningitis A message from
Kirsty Young
"I was incredibly fortunate and remain forever grateful": "I was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis in my mid-20s"
Malawian waiting room

The big numbers

  • Malawi is one of the world’s poorest countries with a per capita GDP of £113/year.
  • More than half the babies and children who get meningitis in Malawi will die from the illness.
  • At least one in five survivors suffer from life-long after effects that the country is ill-equipped to support.
  • Meningitis is poorly understood in Malawi and people seek the wrong sort of treatment or seek it too late. Deaths can be prevented by earlier recognition and timely treatment.
  • Meningitis Research Foundation has invested £700k into research in Malawi since 2001.
  • Globally, meningitis kills 1,000 people daily.
  • 150,000 children under 15 yrs triaged in last 18months
  • 227 frontline healthworkers trained and empowered to recognise severe illness/prioritise the sickest children

Target amount


Donated so far


So far £1546.00 has been raised for this project including these recent donations...

Donation by Christopher Maddren on 04/09/2014


+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Donation by Richard Dixon on 30/08/2014


+ £1.25 Gift Aid

"What brilliant and important work. Well done to all involved."

Donation by Marisol Grandon on 29/08/2014


+ £2.50 Gift Aid

Donation by Jayraj Negandhi on 29/08/2014


+ £5.25 Gift Aid

"God bless you in the work that you do."

Donation by Tom McGrath on 04/12/2013


+ £2.50 Gift Aid

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