Defeating meningitis by 2030

A global vision for meningitis by 2030 and an action plan to get there

May 2017 - 2030

A Global Plan to Defeat Meningitis by 2030

“Wherever it occurs, meningitis can be deadly and debilitating; it strikes quickly, has serious health, economic and social consequences, and causes devastating outbreaks. It is time to tackle meningitis globally once and for all –by urgently expanding access to existing tools like vaccines, spearheading new research and innovation to prevent, detecting and treating the various causes of the disease, and improving rehabilitation for those affected.”

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has developed a global plan that will dramatically improve meningitis prevention, diagnosis and treatment, disease monitoring, health advocacy, support and aftercare.

This is a game changer for people at risk of or affected by meningitis. Turning the WHO’s Global Road Map to Defeat Meningitis by 2030 into reality could save more than 200,000 lives annually and significantly reduce disabilities caused by meningitis. At present, bacterial meningitis kills 1 in 10 people who contract it and causes lifelong disability in 1 in 5 people who survive it.

The Road Map was presented at the World Health Assembly in November 2020, where countries decided to take it forward, they did this by voting on a 'resolution'. The Global Road Map to Defeat Meningitis by 2030 sets out a detailed plan to tackle the main causes of acute bacterial meningitis (including meningococcus, pneumococcus, Haemophilus influenzae and group B streptococcus).

The Road Map was developed by WHO with extensive consultation and input from hundreds of global experts, including people directly affected by meningitis, scientists, country representatives, and civil society organisations like MRF. Five interconnected pillars of work have been developed to achieve the Road Map’s visionary goals:

  • Prevention and Epidemic Control – development and access to vaccines, and targeted interventions.
  • Diagnosis and Treatment – improved diagnostics, health worker training and case management.
  • Disease surveillance – accurate data to inform control policies and monitor progress.
  • Support and Aftercare – Appropriate support for people, families and carers affected by meningitis.
  • Advocacy and Engagement – raise public and political awareness of meningitis and its impact.
The 5 Pillars to Defeat Meningitis


The 5 Pillars to Defeat Meningitis (World Health Organization; 2021)

Countries worldwide have committed to the vision of the Global Road Map to Defeat Meningitis by 2030. In collaboration with WHO, MRF is working with partners and people affected by meningitis to help make that vision a reality.

For information on how you can get involved, please visit: www.comomeningitis.org/world-meningitis-day-2022-global-road-map

Further resources

More information on the WHO website:

Read more about our work in pursuit of the Road Map’s aims:

More information on the CoMO website:

We take action that benefits people directly. including, training health professionals and providing support and information services.
Since the charity was founded in 1989, we have awarded 161 research grants. The total value of our investment in vital scientific research is over £19.1 million (€24.7 million).
We call for positive change as a united voice against meningitis and septicaemia, and a dedicated champion for those it affects.
MRF Chief Executive Vinny Smith explains how we're going to defeat meningitis by 2030.
Give researchers the clues to help defeat meningitis
Give researchers the clues to help defeat meningitis
£160/€190/$214 decodes the genetic information in a sample of meningococcal bacteria. This information helps us to track new forms of meningitis and campaign to introduce new vaccines.
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