“It’s a little known fact that deaths from meningitis and sepsis in children under the age of five were estimated to be as high as deaths due to malaria. It will take a global effort to stop this disease, but with 5 million people affected each year, often with devastating consequences such as limb loss, deafness, brain damage and early death, we must take urgent action.”
“By the end of this important three-day meeting, we will have agreed the priority global actions to achieve our goal. Preventing new cases, ending epidemics and ensuring that people and families get the support they need means that meningitis will be defeated.”
Meningitis remains a universal public health challenge in countries around the world - cases and outbreaks are highly dreaded. The global number of deaths due to meningitis was estimated at around 380,000 annually.
Mike Davies, 60, from Brighton is helping to raise awareness about meningitis and describes how the disease affected him. Mike became ill with meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia at Christmas 2017. He was wrapping presents on the afternoon of Christmas Eve when he began to get colder and colder, getting into bed didn’t help. Mike says: “I looked like a ghost with blue lips. My family insisted on the trip to The Royal Sussex County hospital where the fantastic NHS clicked in. On Christmas Day my family were told I was unlikely to survive, but after I spent 10 weeks in Intensive Care I pulled through.”
“During this time I began to look forward (yes, looking forward) to having my hands and feet amputated. Legs went one week - hands the next, and the hands took seven hours alone. Then I had weeks of recovery and wound healing. For a long time I had to have my blood detoxified three times a week at dialysis in hospital as my kidneys were so badly affected, but I could have died. One day I flatly refused to get out of bed to attend hospital for the necessary and life-saving dialysis I was having three days a week. The greatest thing to happen to me then was to be offered counselling through the hospital renal department. In my darkest moments I would think, how would I ever shower, toilet, eat breakfast, drink tea, go shopping, walk places, catch a bus? But overcoming each of these challenges was another little victory.”