Posted by Meningitis Research Foundation on 27 November 2012
On November 21, we hosted a Parliamentary briefing on the current situation regarding meningitis and septicaemia in Ireland. In attendance were members of the Dail, medical professionals, university lecturers and our supporters who themselves had personal experience of meningitis. As well as providing as update on current trends with meningitis, this meeting gave an opportunity to attendees to discuss future challenges in treatment and prevention of meningitis in Ireland.
Among the experts who presented were Dr. Bill Casey (Consultant Anaesthetist, Our Lady’s Hospital Crumlin), Dr Richard Drew (Consultant Microbiologist at Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust, formally a specialist registrar at Children's University Hospital Dublin) and Dr. Ed Lavalle (Senior Lecturer in Immunology, Trinity College Dublin).
Some of the issues highlighted by our presenters were the prevalence of meningitis in Ireland with Ireland having the highest incidence of meningitis in Europe. We were reminded of how successful vaccination has been, and the fantastic breakthrough in research and technology that has led to a vaccine for MenB. Dr Bill Casey discussed the devastating effects of the disease and the vital importance of prompt recognition and treatment. Two of our members, Brian Cavanagh and Liam Mulvihill, former president of the GAA, and shared their personal experiences of meningitis and their stories of how their families had been affected.
Events like this are vital in creating important government links helping us to continue our work and ensuring the swift introduction of the MenB vaccine. In March 2013 we will have an event which will give us a further opportunity to meet with TDs. We will be sending out more information on this soon and are inviting anyone who’s interested in getting involved to contact us for more information.