World’s first global plan to defeat meningitis by 2030

25 Jun 2019
World’s first global plan to defeat meningitis by 2030

Leading health experts from around the world have come together to create the first ever global plan to defeat meningitis, a deadly disease, by 2030.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and other major health organisations who make up the taskforce behind the global plan are now calling on people everywhere to have their say to help shape the plan and drive change.

Meningitis is a deadly disease, which affects more than 5 million people globally each year and in the UK kills one in 10 people affected.

Babies, young children and teenagers are most at-risk of meningitis; however, it can strike anyone of any age, at any time. While other vaccine-preventable diseases have seen child death rates drop by 70-90%, meningitis is drastically behind, dropping just 53% between 1990 and 2017. A key reason for this difference is that other diseases have global targets that show governments what actions must be taken. 

The new plan will therefore help inform government officials around the world what actions must be prioritised to defeat meningitis, a largely preventable and treatable disease.

 

“It is unacceptable that an estimated 5 million people a year are still being affected by this dreadful disease." - Vinny Smith, CEO, MRF

Vinny Smith, Chief Executive at Meningitis Research Foundation, one of the organisations behind the global plan, explains; “It is unacceptable that an estimated 5 million people a year are still being affected by this dreadful disease. Meningitis spreads around the world which is why this coordinated effort to defeat it is such a huge step forward. We want to ask people at risk of the disease, and those who have been affected by it, to have their say to make sure the plan delivers what really matters.” 

There are vaccines that successfully control some types of meningitis, but there are no vaccines available to protect against all causes, so it is vital that people are aware of the symptoms.

Rapid identification and treatment of meningitis provides the best chance of survival, but there are still clear unmet needs that need to be addressed. For example, a low-cost rapid diagnostic test is still not available, and in some countries, health professionals do not always have access to the tools they need to diagnose and treat meningitis quickly enough.

Visit www.meningitis.org//Have-your-say to take the short survey to say what you would change or prioritise to ensure meningitis is defeated.

WHO will also be holding an expert consultation on their website which will further strengthen the global plan.

Have your say to help defeat meningitis by 2030
Have your say to help defeat meningitis by 2030
Your views will help develop a global plan that will tell governments what is needed by people at risk of or affected by meningitis.
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