UK Meningitis charities join forces

UK Meningitis charities join forces

06 September 2012

A major new campaign ‘Meningitis: Keep Watching’ launched last night and is warning parents that meningitis is still here. The campaign is being led by the three UK meningitis charities; Meningitis Research Foundation, Meningitis Trust and Meningitis UK.

The campaign, focuses around an innovative awareness film, and uses digital media to mobilise parents to help spread the word that children are not protected against all types of meningitis.

The campaign has been prompted by concern that many parents mistakenly think their children are protected against all types of the disease. This can lead to parents missing the symptoms and delays in seeking medical advice. The scale of the problem is highlighted in research showing that more than two-thirds of parents in the UK are unaware that current vaccinations do not protect their children from all forms of the disease.

The ‘Meningitis: Keep Watching’ campaign aims to dispel this myth. The short film, a quiz and supplementary information can be found on Facebook at and parents are encouraged to share the campaign with friends and family to disseminate the message far and wide.

“Vaccination is the only way to protect children against meningitis but current vaccinations do not provide protection against all types of the disease. Because of this, it is important to know the symptoms and seek urgent medical advice if you suspect your child has meningitis,” said Dr Nelly Ninis, Consultant Paediatrician at St Mary’s Hospital London and supporter of the Keep Watching campaign. “Meningitis can maim and kill within hours so parents need to be aware that this disease is still a real threat to their children.”

Bacterial meningitis affects around 3,400 people in the UK each year , and kills more children than any other infectious disease. Most cases occur during the winter season. With the end of summer fast approaching and children going back to school, the campaign urges parents to get to grips with looking out for meningitis before the winter season peak. 

The scale of this collaboration is unprecedented and by joining forces the three charities they hope their united efforts will have a major impact on meningitis awareness in the UK. In a joint statement the three meningitis charities said “Knowledge can save lives when it comes to meningitis. We urge parents to take a few minutes to view the Keep Watching film and to think about what they can do to spread the word and protect their children. By sharing this film with friends and family we can help save others from this devastating disease.”

This campaign has been made possible with the support of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited.


For further information please contact: Charlotte Collins at Ruder Finn, / 0207 438 3055 / 07867 451 156 

Spokespeople and case studies:
If you would like to interview a representative from one of the charities, a paediatrician, or someone whose life has been affected by meningitis, please contact:

Sam Williams
Media Relations Manager

Hi, I’m Sam and I’m MRF's PR Manager.

If you want to know more about this story call me on 0333 405 626251, out of office hours on 07875 498047 or email me