Counting the costs

A major campaign where for the first time we reveal the shocking lifelong costs of surviving meningitis and septicaemia

Counting the Cost provided a comprehensive analysis of the lifetime impact of the diseases through illustrative case studies:

  • Peter, who was 18 months old when he was struck down with septicaemia which left him with multiple amputations and behavioural difficulties.
  • Emma, who was three years old when she became ill with meningitis which left her brain damaged, deaf and partially blind.

Counting the Cost is a major campaign where we reveal the shocking lifelong costs of surviving meningitis and septicaemia and call on Government to pursue the widest and earliest implementation of vaccines to prevent the diseases.

Through Counting the Cost we called for:

  • Government to pursue the widest and earliest possible implementation of effective vaccines against all strains of meningitis and septicaemia across the UK. There may soon be an opportunity to prevent MenB (meningococcal group b disease) the leading cause of life-threatening meningitis and septicaemia in UK children
  • Government to change its criteria for assessing the value of vaccination for meningitis and septicaemia to include full medical costs, plus social and educational costs of the disease.
Meningitis and septicaemia are illnesses that can have far-reaching consequences for quality of life, creating ongoing need for specialist medical care, and impacting on education, work, finances and family life. Severe cases impose substantial financial costs on the state, as described in our case notes. There are also significant costs to the families themselves: it costs three times as much to raise a disabled child1, and families with a disabled child are four times as likely to be living in poverty2.

Read our paper published in Paediatric Drugs about Counting the Cost.

1. Dobson B, Middleton S. 1998. Paying to care: the cost of childhood disability. Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
2. Emerson E, Hatton C. 2005. The socio-economic circumstance of families supporting a child at risk of disability in Britain in 2002. Institute for Health Research, Lancaster University.

We call for positive change as a united voice against meningitis and septicaemia, and a dedicated champion for those it affects.
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