MRF members descend on Parliament
13 December 2011
MRF campaigners are today descending on Parliament to ensure meningitis remains a top health priority in the NHS reforms. The Meningitis Matters campaign has been prompted by fears that the radical NHS reforms may destabilise progress that has been made to control meningitis and septicaemia (the blood poisoning form of the disease).
New research released today shows that 75% of parents across the UK rated meningitis as one of their most feared infectious diseases for their child. 89% of parents questioned also said that meningitis should be considered a high public health priority, demonstrating the support for the Meningitis Matters campaign.
MRF member Mette Mitchell, whose daughter Miko survived meningitis B when she was just six months old said, “Nothing could have prepared me for the horror of seeing Miko suffer from bacterial meningitis and not knowing whether she would live or die. Thanks to early treatment her life was saved, but every time I hug her now I am reminded that we could so easily have lost her.”
“I am backing the Meningitis Matters campaign to make sure that meningitis care does not become sidelined within the NHS reforms and to ensure that other families in the UK don’t have to face what my family has been through.”
With bacterial meningitis and septicaemia affecting around 3,400 individuals in the UK every year, thirty-three Meningitis Matters campaigners are meeting with their local MP in Parliament to raise their concerns about the planned changes to the NHS and how they must not negatively impact the prevention and treatment of diseases and supports offered to survivors and their families. The day will conclude with a Parliamentary reception for all MP’s and Lords who will be encouraged to support Early Day Motion 2476.
Chris Head, CEO of MRF said, “Despite the progress in vaccination, many parents are unaware that their children are currently not fully protected against all strains of the diseases. This campaign provides practical recommendations to politicians to ensure that meningitis and septicaemia remain at the heart of public health and calls on the public to remain vigilant of the signs and symptoms of the diseases”. EDM number 2476 ‘Meningitis’
If you are able, we would welcome your support in signing EDM number 2476 ‘Meningitis’
That this House notes that meningitis and septicaemia are serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, with one in 10 dying, while a quarter of survivors are left with life-altering after-effects such as amputations, brain damage, deafness, blindness and epilepsy; further notes that babies, teenagers and young adults are most at risk, with the diseases killing more babies and young children in the UK than any other infectious disease; welcomes the fact that over the last decade there has been significant progress in raising awareness and tackling the diseases with the introduction of new vaccinations; further notes however that there are many strains of bacterial meningitis for which there are no vaccinations; and calls on the Government to introduce new vaccines as soon as readily available to protect against all strains of meningitis and septicaemia. Meningitis Matters recommendations:
The UK is widely regarded as being one of the world leaders in meningitis monitoring and immunisation. A concerted effort on the areas of meningitis prevention, awareness and support is even more important given ongoing NHS reform. The Meningitis Matters campaign calls on the Government to maintain the progress that has been made and to ensure that:
• Vaccines that prevent meningitis are introduced into the immunisation schedule as soon as they become available;
• Healthcare professionals have sufficient training to enable them to identify and manage meningitis;
• Adequate follow-up, care and support are provided to those left with after-effects of meningitis and septicaemia.