On Thursday 24 April 2014, the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO) will unite with our 43 member organisations in 28 countries worldwide to celebrate our sixth World Meningitis Day (WMD).
Held every year on 24 April, WMD is recognised to raise the global profile of meningitis, emphasise the importance of vaccination, and provide support to those dealing with the consequences of the disease.
Meningitis is a disease that can affect anyone, anywhere and at any time! This year, together with our members, we want to share information about meningitis and promote the important role of vaccinations in preventing the most deadly and most devastating forms of the disease.
Join us in our global fight to prevent meningitis worldwide because we can and we should! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates on our WMD activities, to share meningitis facts, read personal meningitis stories, share your story and contribute to the discussions. Help us make meningitis a disease people know about and know it can be prevented with vaccines. Together we can help prevent this disease.
Every year more than 1.2 million people are affected by meningitis. Bacterial meningitis is the most severe and common form and it causes approximately 120,000 deaths globally each year.
Even with prompt diagnosis and treatment, approximately 10% of patients die and up to 20% or more sustain permanent damage and disability. What’s scary about this disease is that the signs and symptoms are similar to those of the common flu. These include, but are not limited to, fever, vomiting, headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to light and drowsiness. They can appear in any order and some may not appear at all. Those surviving meningitis can have their lives devastated as a result of long-term effects such as deafness, brain damage and when septicaemia is involved loss of limbs.
Find out more about meningitis including those at greater risk of contracting the disease and the different types of meningitis on our Facts About Meningitis page.
The most severe forms of meningitis can be prevented with vaccines. For many years now safe and effective vaccines have been used to protect against the three major causes of bacterial meningitis, commonly known as meningococcal, pneumococcal or Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).
The Hib vaccine has been widely available for many years and this has caused Hib meningitis to be close to elimination. Sadly, this isn’t the case for the other causes of bacterial meningitis leaving all of us, and particularly children under the age of 5 and adolescents, at risk of contracting the disease.
What many people also don’t know is that introducing the pneumococcal, meningococcal and/or Hib vaccines not only help prevent meningitis but a variety of other diseases including pneumonia, otitis media (middle ear infection), septicaemia and epiglottitis.
Together with your support we want individuals, families, communities and governments worldwide to know of meningitis and know that it can be prevented! You can help raise awareness of meningitis and the vaccines available to prevent it by doing the following:
We want to prevent meningitis worldwide because we can and we should! But we need your help.
Vaccines exist to prevent against the most dangerous forms of meningitis but unfortunately the ability to access these lifesaving vaccines differs from one country to the next. For families in some countries it’s free, others have to pay and in some countries the vaccine isn’t even available.
We want to see this change. Families worldwide should all have access to these lifesaving vaccines for free in their country.
To make sure meningitis prevention is considered a priority and communities worldwide have access to these vaccines, register your support for governments worldwide to make meningitis preventing vaccines available in their country for free to their citizens.
We know that meningitis has the power to cause death or disability in hours! In this powerful video, representatives from six of our member organisations share their personal meningitis experiences.
Families around the world need to be aware of meningitis and need to know that some of the most serious types can be prevented through vaccination.
Help us share this video with as many people as possible by sharing through Facebook, Twitter or sending a friend or family an email with a link. Let's work together to prevent meningitis.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates on World Meningitis Day activities across the globe, to share meningitis facts, read personal meningitis stories, share your story and contribute to the discussions. Use hashtags #meningitis and #joinhands to join the Twitter conversations.
You can also follow us on Pinterest to understand how meningitis has affected the lives of our members across the world with their personal stories. You can even pin these touching stories to your own boards.
We are also on YouTube and here you can find out more information about meningitis, the signs and symptoms and the personal stories of those that have been affected by this disease.
Help us spread awareness of meningitis and the vaccines available to prevent it and help us build support for meningitis prevention to be considered a priority by downloading and displaying World Meningitis Day (WMD) Posters around your community or promoting WMD on your website with one of our web banners.
Simply download the necessary files below and help raise awareness of meningitis this WMD.
A1, A3 or A4 Posters