Meningitis Progress Tracker

Key data and meningitis estimates

Progress against meningitis has lagged behind many other infectious diseases and the evidence to generate global change has been missing or difficult to access.

Meningitis Research Foundation is developing a data portal called the Meningitis Progress Tracker to bring key data and meningitis estimates together in one place.

This will provide an incredible advocacy tool to highlight what needs to be done and also to monitor and track progress as we take action to Defeat Meningitis by 2030.

The prototype of the Meningitis Progress tracker aligns with the Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis by 2030 and its aims.

The data visualisations in the tracker are being developed to reflect the goals to improve:  prevention; diagnosis and treatment; surveillance; information and advocacy; support and aftercare for people and families affected.

Much of the data in the tracker is currently based on modelled estimates from expert organisations because real health data is often limited. Improved surveillance of meningitis will help create a clearer global picture of its impact.

Please let us know what you think of this prototype as we develop it further.

This version of the Meningitis Progress Tracker has been made possible through tremendous support and technical skill from the developers Keytree, a generous grant of software licenses and training from the Tableau Foundation, and grants from Pfizer and GSK.

Further reading


The following provides further reading on the number of people affected by meningitis:

Liu, L., et al., Global, regional, and national causes of under-5 mortality in 2000-15: an updated systematic analysis with implications for the Sustainable Development Goals. Lancet, 2016. 388(10063): p. 3027-3035.

Collaborators, G.B.D.M., Global, regional, and national burden of meningitis, 1990-2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet Neurol, 2018. 17(12): p. 1061-1082.

Wahl, B., et al., Burden of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type b disease in children in the era of conjugate vaccines: global, regional, and national estimates for 2000-15. Lancet Glob Health, 2018. 6(7): p. e744-e757.

Seale, A.C., et al., Estimates of the Burden of Group B Streptococcal Disease Worldwide for Pregnant Women, Stillbirths, and Children. Clin Infect Dis, 2017. 65(suppl_2): p. S200-S219.


The following provides further reading on preventing meningitis:

The VIEW-hub report on global vaccine introduction and implementation (2016-present)

Gavi, the vaccine alliance progress reports

Mosser, J.F., et al., Mapping diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus vaccine coverage in Africa, 2000-2016: a spatial and temporal modelling study. Lancet, 2019.

Establishing and strengthening immunisation in the second year of life.  Practices for vaccination beyond infancy”.  World Health Organization 2018. Strengthening immunisation beyond infancy is particularly relevant for meningitis vaccines because a 2+1 schedule for PCV is considered preferable to the 3+0 schedule adopted by many countries and routine vaccination with MenA has been recommended to be given between 9 to 18 months of age.|

World Health Organisation vaccine coverage information -

The Global Meningococcal Initiative (GMI) promotes and shares world class research into best practice, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of meningococcal disease around the world -


The visualisations on the MPT use modelled estimates, but meningitis and pathogen specific surveillance systems also exist which serve the purpose of identifying outbreaks in higher risk areas and for monitoring vaccine efficacy.

The following provides further reading on meningitis surveillance and improving surveillance data:

Major meningitis efforts surveillance

WHO – Meningitis Weekly Bulletin -

MenAfrinet -

WHO Invasive Bacterial Vaccine Preventable Diseases Laboratory Network -

Surveillance in the meningitis belt - Lingani, C., et al., Meningococcal Meningitis Surveillance in the African Meningitis Belt, 2004-2013. Clin Infect Dis, 2015. 61 Suppl 5: p. S410-5. -

WHO Vaccine Preventable Diseases Surveillance Standards -

Improving death registration

How can we accelerate progress on civil registration and vital statistics -

Estimating meningitis deaths

In countries with no national death registration systems, death estimates are based largely on modelled data using verbal autopsy as the primary data source.  Verbal autopsy involves interviewing individuals close to the deceased as a way of identifying a cause of death.  This means that verbal autopsy cannot accurately distinguish between diseases which have similar symptoms and cannot identity which pathogen caused an infectious death.

The Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) Network has been established in areas Sub-saharan Africa and South Asia where infant mortality is very high and there are no national death registration systems to better understand the causes of death of children under 5 in these regions.  -


The following provides further reading on meningitis diagnosis and treatment:

Information about the need for meningitis rapid diagnostic tests -

This course provides a general introduction to Meningitis and is intended for incident managers and personnel working for the United Nations, international organizations and NGOs -

WHO Pocketbook for treating common childhood illnesses -

WHO Managing Meningitis Epidemics in Africa -

Waite (2014) Systematic review of Rapid Diagnostic Tests for the diagnosis of meningitis in outbreak response in sub-Saharan Africa Report for WHO Meningitis guideline revision -


The following provides further reading on the need to improve meningitis support and aftercare:

Edmond, K., et al., Global and regional risk of disabling sequelae from bacterial meningitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Infect Dis, 2010. 10 (5): p. 317-28.

Report from the WHO regional office for Africa - “A heavy burden.  The indirect cost of illness in Africa

Meningitis is a deadly and complicated disease - so is it actually possible to truly "defeat" it? Find out here.
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Meningitis affects 5 million people globally every year
£160/€190/$214 decodes the genetic information in a sample of meningococcal bacteria. This information has helped us track new forms of meningitis and campaign to introduce new vaccines to protect people.
Give researchers the clues to help defeat meningitis
Give researchers the clues to help defeat meningitis
£160/€190/$214 decodes the genetic information in a sample of meningococcal bacteria. This information helps us to track new forms of meningitis and campaign to introduce new vaccines.
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Claire Wright
Evidence and policy manager (prevention)

Hello I'm Claire.

I'm looking after this project, so if there's anything more you'd like to know about it or you'd like to let us know what you think about the Tracker, please get in touch.

Tel: 0333 405 6259