Urgent call to stop meningitis being missed

10 Nov 2017
Urgent call to stop meningitis being missed
Urgent call to stop meningitis being missed – World Health Organization consultation closes 15th November 
 

The World Health Organization (WHO) is consulting on its 13th programme of work to set priorities for the next 5 years. But the work plan does not mention meningitis despite 'meningitis and neonatal sepsis' being the second biggest infectious killer of under 5’s globally, and the biggest infectious killer of newborns. 

The consultation closes on the 15th November and we need people to urge WHO to give meningitis the prioritisation necessary to defeat it. 

The consultation is here.

It take less than 5 minutes to complete. A suggested response can be found here.

When it comes to saving lives, global health efforts are failing the youngest children. The Millennium Development Goals set a target for reducing the numbers of children around the world who die before their fifth birthday. Despite valiant efforts, the target was missed. In 2015, a new target was set out in the Sustainable Development Goals to end, by 2030, preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age. 

This will only be achievable if we have a plan to defeat meningitis. 

When highlighting the leading causes of death in children under five globally, the 2017 ‘Levels and Trends in Child Mortality’ United Nations report shows that ‘meningitis’ in children 1-59 months old and ‘sepsis or meningitis’ in neonates (the first four weeks of a child’s life) is a leading cause of death.

In the report, meningitis and neonatal sepsis is the second largest infectious disease killer of children aged under 5, responsible for more deaths in this age group than malaria, measles, AIDS and tetanus combined. Meningitis and sepsis is also ranked the leading killer of newborns.

It’s time to take action and urge WHO to highlight meningitis as a child health priority in their 13th programme or work.
 
The UN IGME’s 2017 report shows that meningitis (in children 1-59 months old) plus meningitis/sepsis (in neonates) account for 9% of deaths in under-fives. This makes it the second largest infectious killer of children under five… responsible for more deaths than malaria, AIDS, measles and tetanus combined. ​
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