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.