A three day meeting at Wilton Park, West Sussex, begins today [27 February 2019] which sees health experts from around the world coming together to define the activities that need to happen to defeat meningitis by 2030.
In May 2017, Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) led the organisation of a meeting, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), with over 50 representatives from governments, global health organisations, public health bodies, academia, private sector and civil society.
That meeting and subsequent report helped WHO to commit to developing a new global roadmap to defeat meningitis by 2030.
A Task Force of major technical partners who have been historically invested in long-term meningitis control was convened to discuss the roadmap goals. The Task Force includes, but is not limited to, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Meningitis Research Foundation, Médecins Sans Frontières, PATH, UNICEF and WHO.
Work begins today as global experts agree the way forward to defeat meningitis.
The global fight against meningitis is fully aligned with WHO’s new 13th General Programme of Work and captures the essence of WHO’s three-fold mission:
- Promote health
- Keep the world safe
- Serve the vulnerable
MRF has always stressed the importance of defeating meningitis and septicaemia around the world, as the disease passes from human to human without respect for national borders.
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. Deaths from meningitis and sepsis in children under the age of five were estimated to be as high as deaths due to malaria.
Progress in defeating meningitis lags behind other vaccine preventable diseases and this meeting is the next big step towards defeating it.
The full program for the meeting can be found here.