Meningitis Awareness Week 2021

13th - 19th September 2021

Be part of this historic moment.

On 28th September, the Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis will be launched by the World Health Organization (WHO). For the first time ever, countries will unite behind a global effort to defeat meningitis and provide meaningful aftercare to survivors and their families.

The launch provides an opportunity for your voice to be heard by global leaders at this once in a lifetime Roadmap launch. We need to show them how much people want to see meningitis defeated – the more voices we get, the stronger the call to action.

This Meningitis Awareness Week, you can help #DefeatMeningitis.

The Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis is the first ever global plan to defeat meningitis. It establishes a comprehensive vision for 2030 “towards a world free of meningitis”, with three visionary goals:
  • Elimination of bacterial meningitis epidemics;
  • Reduction of cases of vaccine-preventable bacterial meningitis by 50% and deaths by 70%;
  • Reduction of disability and improvement of quality of life after meningitis due to any cause.
It sets a path to achieve these goals, through concerted actions across five pillars:


  • Prevention and epidemic control focused on the development of new affordable vaccines, achievement of high immunization coverage, improvement of prevention strategies and response to epidemics;
  • Diagnosis and treatment, focused on speedy confirmation of meningitis and optimal management;
  • Disease surveillance to guide meningitis prevention and control;
  • Care and support of those affected by meningitis, focusing on early recognition and improved access care and support for after-effects from meningitis, and
  • Advocacy and engagement, to ensure high awareness of meningitis, consideration into countries plans, and increase the right to prevention, care and after-care services.

The Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis was endorsed at the Seventy-third World Health Assembly. It will be officially launched on September 28th 2021, and health leaders from all around the world will be asked to take action.

Click here to make sure they hear your voice.


You can submit any type of message of support! You could simply type a message into your phone and screenshot it so that it becomes a picture, but we encourage you to use your creativity to have an even bigger impact.

You could:

  • Draw a picture of what a world free from meningitis might look like
  • Upload a photo of somebody that you love who was impacted by meningitis
  • Record a voice note on your phone telling your story 
  • Film a video of yourself celebrating a world free from meningitis
  • Make a sign saying 'I support the Roadmap' and snap a selfie

These are just a few ideas, but you are free to express your support however you choose. Your message, and accompanying material, will be included in this gallery. The gallery will be presented to global health leaders at the September 28th launch of the Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis.

Be part of this historic moment. Add your message of support today.

Meningitis and neonatal sepsis kill more children than malaria, measles and TB combined. Across all ages there were over 230,000 estimated deaths due to meningitis and neonatal sepsis in 2019.

Meningitis does not recognise national borders. It is a global disease, with global impact. As the COVID-19 pandemic has proven, countries need to work together in order to defeat diseases. 

Until now, meningitis and neonatal sepsis have been rarely listed as health priorities in major global health strategies and frameworks. As a result, progress towards defeating meningitis has been slow. According to one estimate, between 1990 and 2017, meningitis deaths in children under 5 fell by just 53% compared to 87% for measles, 93% for tetanus and 70% for diarrhoea.

Our team at Meningitis Research Foundation have built the Meningitis Progress Tracker, with the support of the Tableau Foundation. For the first time, this tool brings together data from diverse sources on meningitis cases and deaths, prevention, surveillance, treatment and impact on quality of life all in one place, aligned with the five pillars of the WHO Defeating Meningitis by 2030 global roadmap.

Click here to leave a message of support for the Roadmap.

The real voices of meningitis.

We meningitis strikes, feelings of isolation and disconnection are common. Whether the disease has struck you or someone you are close to, it can feel like you are completely alone. But, as long as we are here, you are never alone.

This Meningitis Awareness Week, we are proud to launch Meningitis & Me. This is a unique platform for videos made by, and for, people affected by meningitis. Whether you have a lost loved one, experienced amputation or are dealing with invisible after-effects, you will find practical tips and advice for adjusting to life after meningitis. Our first set of videos is now available to view, and we'll be uploading new content throughout 2021.

This Meningitis Awareness Week, we are proud to amplify the voices of people affected by meningitis, to show other impacted individuals that you are not alone.
Have you been impacted by meningitis? If so, and if you have tips and advice that you'd like to share with others, we'd like to hear from you. Click here to contact the team.

We welcome your feedback for our existing set of videos. Please click here to let us know your thoughts.
Share this
We call for positive change as a united voice against meningitis and septicaemia, and a dedicated champion for those it affects.
Since the charity was founded in 1989, we have awarded 161 research grants. The total value of our investment in vital scientific research is over £19.1 million (€24.7 million).
We take action that benefits people directly, including training health professionals and providing support and information services.
Mike Davies contracted bacterial meningitis in 2017. This is his story.
Connect families affected by meningitis so they don’t feel alone
Connect families affected by meningitis so they don’t feel alone
£58 funds one support worker to attend our ‘Meningitis Meet-Ups’ – a chance for families affected by meningitis to meet each other for informal peer support.
Media contact
Holly Edwards - Communications Manager
Tel: 07875 498 047