14 March 2014
Photographs of paralympic sprinter Jonni Peacock aim to raise awareness of meningitis B. The disease kills more children under five in the UK and Ireland than any other infection. Peacock contracted meningitis at the age of five and is now patrol of CoMO member, the Meningitis Research Foundation.
Peacock lost his right leg below the knee to meningococcal septicaemia when he was five years old, in October 1998. In 2012 he won the gold medal for the 100m at the London Paralympics, and in 2013 he won the World Championship title.
The Meningitis Research Foundation estimates that there are around 3,200 cases of meningitis and septicaemia every year in the UK. They are easily mistaken for milder illnesses, but can kill within hours and may cause serious, lifelong disabilities. As many as one in 10 of those affected will die and a third of survivors will be left with after-effects, some as serious as brain damage, amputations, blindness and hearing loss. Children are not currently vaccinated against all forms of the disease.
Yet a vaccine does exist. The government is currently awaiting advice from the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation on whether to introduce this vaccine into the childhood immunisation schedule.
The photographs were all taken by Giulietta Verdon-Roe for the Meningitis Research Foundation’s 25th anniversary Focus on Meningitis exhibition, which will launch online in May online at meningitis.org.
Source: The Guardian