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Our letter to the Prime Minister

Our letter to the Prime Minister

17 September 2012

We presented our 16,700 strong Counting the Cost petition to 10 Downing Street at the start of Meningitis Awareness Week.

Here's what our covering letter to the Prime Minster said:

Dear Prime Minister,

Our Counting the Cost of Meningitis petition collected 16,700 signatures. The petition calls for the earliest introduction possible of safe and effective vaccines for meningitis. We handed it into to your home at 10 Downing Street today with the help of three of our members, Robbie Jones, aged five, and Paralympics commentator Diana Man, who both lost their legs to meningitis, and Onaiza Fice, whose baby son died.

Meningitis Research Foundation is the UK’s leading charity funding research into and awareness about meningitis and septicaemia. We estimate 3,400 people get bacterial meningitis and septicaemia in the UK every year. These diseases are the biggest killer of children under five; young adults are the second most at-risk group. One in ten who contract them will die, and a quarter of those who survive will suffer life-altering after-effects including deafness, blindness, brain damage and multiple amputations.

We launched our Counting the Cost of Meningitis petition last year after establishing the life-long cost to the UK Government of someone severely disabled by meningitis and septicaemia is around £3m, including their medical treatment and continuing support.

While some strains of meningitis are covered in the Childhood Immunisation Schedule, not every strain is currently vaccine presentable. Meningococcal Type B (MenB), for example, remains the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in the UK and we have funded over 30 research projects to find a vaccine, which we estimate could prevent more than three cases a day .

The public’s response to Counting the Cost of Meningitis firmly demonstrates the widespread strength of feeling on this issue, and we trust your Government will factor this in when making decisions about meningitis vaccination, and especially Men B, in the near future.

Yours sincerely

Christopher Head
Chief Executive, Meningitis Research Foundation

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