UK landmarks will be illuminated to mark this year’s World Meningitis Day (5th October), supporting the global fight to defeat meningitis.
Meningitis affects people across the globe, killing 1 in 10 people and causing lifelong disability in 1 in 5 people who survive it. Tragically, children under 5 account for half of all meningitis deaths.
Raising life-saving awareness is one of the key aspects of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Road Map to Defeat Meningitis by 2030, which could save up to 200,000 people from dying from meningitis every year.
World Meningitis Day is the annual moment to unite against meningitis, preventing cases and saving lives. This year, to mark the day, Meningitis Research Foundation wants to create a global chain of light to symbolise hope for the aims of the World Health Organization’s Global Road Map and in remembrance of everyone who has lost their life, or had their life changed forever, because of meningitis.
The charity is encouraging everyone, everywhere to show their support by helping to ‘light the road ahead’. Anyone can illuminate something on the 5th October at the symbolic time of 20.30 (8.30pm), sharing a photo on social media along with their reasons for why meningitis must be defeated.
Vinny Smith, Chief Executive of Meningitis Research Foundation, said: “World Meningitis Day is about bringing people together across the world to ensure no one learns about meningitis for the first time when they are seriously ill.
“For many who survive meningitis, they live with life-changing outcomes. But for every family and every community touched by meningitis, there is hope. The World Health Organization’s Global Road Map to Defeat Meningitis by 2030 will improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment, disease monitoring, health advocacy, and support and aftercare, saving hundreds of thousands of lives every year and significantly reducing disabilities caused by meningitis.
“But the clock is ticking. Every day to 2030 matters. That’s why we are thrilled that so many are supporting our call to light the road ahead, illuminating at the symbolic time of 20.30 (8.30pm), in remembrance of those affected by meningitis and welcoming hope for the future.”
Anyone can join the global chain of light, simply by lighting a candle, decorating with fairy lights, or leaving a light on, at 20.30 (8.30pm) and sharing it on social media with the hashtag #WorldMeningitisDay and #DefeatMeningitis.
For information about World Meningitis Day and other ways to get involved in the global effort to defeat meningitis, visit worldmeningitisday.org.