Meningitis Symposium 2011

We were delighted to see so many delegates at the Bank of Ireland auditorium in Bristol for MRF's latest Meningitis Symposium on June 16.

The symposium is mix of presentations by some of the top experts in the field of meningitis and septicaemia, while putting all our work into the context of a MRF Member's experience of how the diseases have affected them and their family

Living with the impact of neonatal meningitis - a Member's story

Leesa Yeo at MRF Meningitis Symposium 2011Leesa Yeo is a mother of three, whose first child was diagnosed with Group B Strep Meningitis at 16 hours old. Leesa is a Modern Languages graduate, and worked as a Project Manager for Barclays and American Express – essentially to fund her and her partner's love of traveling – before having children.

She is now a full time carer to Isabel, full time mother to her two younger children, and a school governor at Saxon Wood Special School in Basingstoke. She is an active member of Meningitis Research Foundation participating as a case study in media campaigns, including meningitis awareness week, as well as supporting MRF in many other ways. Leesa is also active with Group B Strep Support, who offer information about Group B Streptococcus and GBS tests to parents and health professionals.


The burden of bacterial meningitis in babies: towards care standards to improve the outcome

Ifeanyichukwu Okike at MRF Meningitis Symposium 2011Ifeanyichukwu Okike is a Clinical Research Fellow at Child Health & St George’s Vaccine Institute London. He is responsible for coordinating the MRF-funded bacterial meningitis in babies 0-90 days of age: burden of disease (BPSU) and healthcare delivery study (Neomen).

Dr Okike obtained his medical degree from Uludag University in Bursa, Turkey and did his Internship in Turkey and University Hospital Leuven, Belgium. He is currently undertaking this Neomen study as part of an MD (Res) with St George’s, University of London and forms part of his Specialist Registrar training in Paediatrics.


Assessing memory, learning ability, psychiatric impact and stress after meningitis and septicaemia in children

Dr Simon Nadel at MRF Meningitis Symposium 2011Dr Simon Nadel has been a Consultant in Paediatric Intensive Care at Imperial College School of Medicine, St Mary's since 1994. Prior to this he trained in paediatric infectious diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He has been involved in coordinating and running therapeutic trials in children with meningococcal and other septic shock, and has also conducted research studies into the pathophysiology and treatment of meningococcal disease in children. Simon has contributed to writing clinical guidelines for the management of children with septicaemia and meningitis.


Counting the costs of meningitis

Claire Wright at MRF Meningitis Symposium 2010Claire Wright is Meningitis Research Foundation's Medical Information Officer. Her responsibilities at MRF include maintaining and developing a range of information resources for the public and health professionals. These include paper and electronic publications for health professionals and the public, presentation materials, fact sheets, statistics, articles for medical/nursing media, and web based information. She also liaises with health professionals on behalf of MRF members who wish to ask specific health related questions.

Claire has a biology background and has spent much of the past year undertaking a project which aims to count the lifelong costs of a severe case of meningitis and septicaemia.


Aftercare and support for children after meningitis and septicaemia

Laura Clark at MRF Meningitis Symposium 2010Laura Clark's background is in Biology/Epidemiology. Since May 2009 she has been working with MRF, alongside the University of Bristol, researching the long-term impact of meningitis and septicaemia. This research is mainly based on member surveys and interviews with parents of children who have had the diseases.

Vaccines against meningitis, current issues, what's new and what are the future possibilities?

Dr Ray Borrow at MRF Meningitis Symposium 2011Professor Ray Borrow is Head of the Vaccine Evaluation Unit at the Health Protection Agency North West, Manchester, where he is responsible for the evaluation of serological responses to various bacterial and viral vaccines with a special interest in meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccines.

Ray gained his PhD in 1994 and his MRCPath in 2003. His scientific findings resulted in over 150 peer reviewed published papers. He serves as a member of the DH Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and frequently advises WHO and companies on both meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccines. He sits on the medical-scientific advisory panels of MRF, the Meningitis Trust, and Meningitis UK.

MRF is grateful to the Bank of Ireland for providing the auditorium free of charge and to Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Ltd and Pfizer for unrestricted educational grants. Thanks to their generosity we were able to offer this seminar to delegates for free.

Janine Blackhurst
Pneumococcal meningitis
Pneumococcal meningitis at 39

I was woken up after eight days and was like a baby.

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