• World Meningitis Day - 24 April 2013

    Every year more than 1.2 million people suffer meningitis!

    World Meningitis Day is held every year on 24 April to raise the global profile of meningitis, emphasise the importance of vaccination, and provide support to those dealing with the consequences of the disease.

    In 2013 we celebrated our fifth World Meningitis Day. Have a look at the many great events and activities CoMO members and our friends worldwide led in their countries to recognise the day and get people talking about meningitis in their countries and regions.

     

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    World Meningitis Day reaches new heights in the America's

    World Meningitis Day was recognised across the America's Region with activities held in Canada, right across the USA and in Brazil in South America.

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    Members in the Asia Pacific Join Hands for World Meningitis Day

    The Asia Pacific Region hosted a variety of World Meningitis Day activities in countries stretching across Asia from Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines into the Pacific with Australia and New Zealand.  

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    Members across our Europe Africa Region recognise World Meningitis Day

    World Meningitis Day came alive around the Europe Africa region with activities hosted by members in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom to name a few.

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    Joining Hands Against Meningitis

    We want to prevent meningitis worldwide, because we can and we should! But we need your help.

    World Meningitis Day might be over, but the global fight against meningitis continues everyday of the year. We encourage you to register your support for governments worldwide to include meningitis preventing vaccines on their country's National Immunisation Programmes.

    We need as many people around the world to unite in this fight against meningitis as possible, and register their support online. Join Hands Against Meningitis now!

    Together we can help prevent families from the devastation meningitis can cause.

     

     

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    Stay informed, up to date and contribute to the many discussions

    Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest information on meningitis, CoMO and our members.  

    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.

    Find us on YouTube to find out more information about meningitis, the signs and symptoms and the personal stories of those that have been affected by this disease.

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    Know the facts about meningitis!

    Every year more than 1.7 million people are affected by meningitis. Bacterial meningitis is the most severe and common form and it causes around 170,000 deaths globally every 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.

     

    This can be prevented!

    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.

    Together with your support we want to urge governments worldwide to protect their citizens against meningitis by adding meningitis preventing vaccines to their country's National Immunisation Programme. You can help raise awareness of meningitis and achieve this by:

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    Meningitis is a global issue that can affect anyone, anywhere and at any time!

    • Every year more than 1.7 million people are affected by meningitis, yet this can be prevented!
    • Bacterial meningitis, which is the most severe and common form, causes around 170,000 deaths globally every year.
    • The signs and symptoms of meningitis are similar to those of the common flu and include, but are not limited to, fever, vomiting, headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to light and drowsiness. These can appear in any order and some may not appear at all.
    • Even with prompt diagnosis and treatment, approximately 10% of patients die and up to 20% or more sustain permanent damage and disability.
    • 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.
    • Overall about 50% of bacterial meningitis cases occur in children under the age of five years. The second disease peak is in adolescents aged between 15-19 years of age.
    • Bacterial meningitis is one of the top ten causes of death in children younger than 14 years in high-income countries.

    This can be prevented!

    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.

     

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    Find out what's happening in your country?

    Many of our members across the globe have planned special events and activities to recognise World Meningitis Day. From completing the EdgeWalk at Toronto's CN Tower to sharing information at an information booth in the Philippines and kick starting a 12 month roadshow in Madrid, Spain there is a variety of events to support.

    Find out what member activities are happening in your country for World Meningitis Day this year.

     

     

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    Taking and sharing your photo with the world!

    How creative can you be? How would you illustrate the 'Join Hands Against Meningitis' message?

    Join hands with family, friends and colleagues in the most creative way you can, take a photo to capture the moment and share it with CoMO and the world by posting it to CoMO’s Facebook page to show your support for meningitis prevention worldwide!

     

     

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    If you wish to access meningitis information in a specific country, CoMO members across the globe have developed media releases and factsheets. Find a member in your country for local information.

    For a global perspective on meningitis download the:

     For further information or for media interviews with the CoMO President, Bruce Langoulant, please contact:

    Amy Sassella on Tel: +61 8 9380 0700 / +61 0400 657 117 

    Jessica Langoulant on Tel: +61 8 9489 7789 or +61 408 926 305

  • Read about some of the World Meningitis Day Activities being led by our member organisations in countries around the world.

    Asia Pacific Region

    The Meningitis Centre, Australia

    In Australia, The Meningitis Centre will focus on the prevention of Meningococcal B. The Centre’s Ambassador Adam Selwood is a meningitis survivor and now a national celebrity sportsman. He will join The Meningitis Centre to rally Australians to support the inclusion of the Meningococcal B vaccine in the National Immunisation Programme.

    The Meningitis Centre hopes to create the world’s longest human chain on World Meningitis Day by encouraging people to attend an information stall in one of Perth, Western Australia’s main shopping malls and of course, to join hands! The stall will also give people the opportunity to learn more about meningitis and sign the petition.

    Japan Child Meningitis Organisation (JaCMO), Japan

    This World Meningitis Day is particularly special for Japan, as from this month the meningitis preventing Hib and Pneumococcal vaccines are being introduced into their National Immunisation Programme.

    To celebrate this achievement, World Meningitis Day will mark the beginning of the Japan Child Meningitis Organisation’s education month. Education month will target parents and promote the role of vaccinations in the prevention of meningitis.  

    A festival celebrating children will be held at the famous Tsurumi Flower Park in Osaka on Sunday 19 May. JaCMO is working with other organisations to plan a variety of activities for the day, including a balloon release, meningitis and vaccination quizzes as well as a wishing tree.

     

    Parenting2u, Malaysia

    World Meningitis Day has been a big build up for Parenting2u with the launch of their campaign ‘Yes to Pneumococcal Protection’ in April. Working with the Asian Strategic Alliance for Pneumococcal prevention (ASAP) and the Malaysian Paediatric Association, the aim is to recruit up to 100 doctors to participate in a parent-doctor engagement campaign. These doctors will be provided with pledge cards and information to encourage parents to sign their support to include the pneumococcal vaccine on the Malaysian National Immunisation Programme.

    Parenting2u plan to present these pledges to the Ministry of Health later this year.


    The Meningitis Foundation Aotearoa New Zealand, New Zealand

    The Meningitis Foundation Aoteroa New Zealand and Pfizer New Zealand have developed a national Immunization Health Report looking at government immunisation targets and the attitudes and perceptions of 1,500 respondents towards vaccination.  New Zealand’s Minister of Health launched the report today (17 April) at a parliamentary reception to media, members of parliament, key opinion leaders, medical practitioners and families.
    The Meningitis Foundation Aoteroa New Zealand will use this opportunity to capture Join Hands photos. They also plan to promote CoMO’s Join Hands Against Meningitis petition by including links in future promotional materials.

    Philippines Foundation for Vaccination (PFV), Philippines

    The Philippine Foundation for Vaccination have kicked off World Meningitis Day by participating in the annual Mommy Power Event on Saturday 13 April. Encouraging mothers and soon to be mothers to register their support for governments worldwide to include meningitis preventing vaccines on their National Immunisation Programme. PFV gave attendees meningitis leaflets, letters and a fan and PFV’s Dr Lulu Bravo also gave a presentation on meningitis.            

    The work for the PFV continues 14 – 17 April at the Philippine Paediatric Society Convention where they have distributed meningitis awareness material to attendees and have a booth encouraging people to sign CoMO’s Join Hands Against Meningitis petition.

    On Friday 20 April, PFV and Meningo.Org Foundation, also in the Philippines, will partner with the
    University of the Philippine College of Allied Professionals to meet with students that take care of meningitis patients.

    Pneumo Mening Centre, Taiwan

    On Sunday 28 April at the National Taiwan University (NYU), Pneumo Mening Centre’s Dr Kow-Tong Chen will deliver a meningitis presentation for parents in the community.

     

    America's Region

    The JAMIE Group, USA

    The J.A.M.I.E Group in Texas, USA have been very busy for WMD.  They attended the National Meningitis Association’s Gala Event on Monday 22 April and are now preparing for Texas Meningitis Awareness Day on Thursday 25 April. This important day gives The J.A.M.I.E Group a key opportunity to advocate at Capitol Hill for a resolution for changes to the existing meningitis law in Texas.  


    The Immunization Partnership, USA

    The Immunization Partnership will be working with Mummy Blogger to release web articles in relation to meningitis and World Meningitis Day.

    Becky Werner Meningitis Foundation, USA

    The Becky Werner Meningitis Foundation from Wisconsin, USA will be getting up early on Saturday 27 April to complete their annual WMD walk.  The walk begins at a local university and extends for 5km.

    This year will mark the fourth WMD walk for the Foundation. People are encouraged to participate and participants can even purchase a WMD t-shirt!


    Meningitis Research Foundation of Canada (MRFC), Canada

    The Meningitis Research Foundation of Canada (MRFC) will be taking WMD to new heights participating in Toronto’s iconic CN Tower EdgeWalk on 24 April. 116 storeys above ground, the EdgeWalk is the world’s highest full circle, hands free walk. Six people, including Governing Council member Mike Redfearn, will be taking part and are encouraging the public to attend and support.


    MRFC is also working on having a Member of Federal Parliament make a public statement for WMD. This fabulous opportunity is hoped to take place at the House of Commons in Ontario, Canada and is expected to reach more than 300 key opinion leaders!

    Instituto Pedro Arthur, Brazil

    Following the success of last year’s event, Instituto Pedro Arthur will again be raising awareness of WMD at the iconic landmark, Christ the Redeemer in Brazil.

    Instituto Pedro Arthur is aiming to pass a law to make it mandatory for children to be vaccinated against bacterial meningitis. This year’s WMD event is hoping to build on the 980,000 signatures Instituto Pedro Arthur already has on their petition in support of this law, as they work to meet The Brazilian constitutional requirement that says at least 1% of Brazil’s population (1,226,000 people) need to sign a petition to create a law.


    Meningitis Awareness Key (MAK), USA

    With the aim of educating families by first educating the children, the Meningitis Awareness Key to prevention (MAK) in California, USA has been raising awareness of meningitis and the role of vaccination in preventing the disease. They have achieved this by running a series of presentations to students.

    MAK will also be hosting a booth at local church, St. John the Evangelist this Sunday 21 April with the focus of building awareness and providing information about meningitis.

     

    Europe Africa

     

    The Meningitis Trust, Meningitis UK and Meningitis Research Foundation, United Kingdom

    The Meningitis Trust, Meningitis UK and Meningitis Research Foundation will continue to promote their Meningitis Keep Watching Facebook campaign launched in September.  Building on the campaign’s success, the plan is to launch a new Pledge to Protect concept and quiz on World Meningitis Day. This will be promoted via a joint press release accompanied by a factsheet and key spokesperson quotes.

    Fundacion Irene Megias Contra la Meningitis, Spain

    For Spain’s Fundacion Irene Megias Contra la Meningitis, World Meningitis Day marks the first day of the Tour of Meningitis Road Show. The tour starts at City Hall in Madrid and will continue for the next 12 months, visiting 11 Spanish cities. The tour will provide the general public with information about meningitis and the important role of vaccinations in preventing this disease.

     

    Meningitis Association of South Africa, South Africa

    The Meningitis Association of South Africa is planning to use a mascot this WMD to capture the hearts and minds of local children. Working with local schools, this exciting initiative hopes to build awareness of meningitis among parents by communicating through their children in the classroom.

    Fundacja Aby zyc, Poland

    This World Meningitis Day, Fundacja Aby zyc in Poland are focusing on educating classroom teachers.  Working with local medical experts, Fundacja Aby zyc have arranged for a lecture where teachers from 40 kindergartens, 15 primary schools and 35 high schools will learn about meningitis.

     

    Gemeinsamgegen Meningokokken, Germany

    Germany’s Gemeinsamgegen Meningokokken are planning to capture media attention by releasing a special photograph featuring a teddy bear mascot and some balloons. The main aim of the image is to raise awareness of meningitis.

    Netherlands Meniningitis Stichting, Netherlands

    Nederlandse Meningitis Stichting plans to focus on promoting Meningococcal B preventing vaccination by engaging the media and local government key opinion leaders. Promotional items include bicycle covers and pins that will be handed out to the public from key locations around the city.

    To complement this campaign, Nedgerlandse Meningitis Stichting will provide media and local medical experts a meningitis toolkit.


    ACT for Meningitis, Ireland

    Ireland’s ACT for Meningitis have been and will continue to engage with the media this World Meningitis Day, with an extensive media schedule planned across Ireland. To assist with this campaign  they will be distributing a new meningitis card that is hot off the press!