The Meningitis Flag
The meningitis community is a powerful force for progress, however, unlike other conditions, it has never had a unifying symbol it can rally behind. Until now.
The Meningitis Flag was created by the meningitis community, for the community. It aims to increase public understanding of meningitis and to give those affected a voice to ensure they receive the support they need to achieve their full potential. The Flag also aims to support the vision of the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Global Road Map to Defeat Meningitis by 2030 (1).
A global symbol for the meningitis movement
The Meningitis Flag was co-created by three para-athletes affected by the disease, CoMO members, Meningitis Research Foundation, textile designer Laura Spring and Sanofi.
Drawing inspiration from their personal experiences and deep connection to meningitis, this diverse group from every corner of the world collaboratively shaped the design of the flag. The result is a bold, vibrant representation of the ongoing fight against meningitis.
The yellow semi-circle represents the patient as the bright, hopeful centre of the movement, symbolizing that every individual is important.
Protecting the individual is a purple triangle – highlighting the supportive role families play. It is pointing upwards like an arrow, symbolizing speed and positivity in the race against meningitis.
The final layer is a sea of blue, symbolizing a sense of steadfastness in the movement to defeat meningitis.
What it means to fight back
Hear from world-class para-athletes whose lives have been affected by meningitis.
My family was really the most important thing when I got meningitis… thanks to my relatives, my parents, my entourage, I knew how to put negative things aside and think more positively. To get out of this headspace as quickly as possible and dream no matter what.”
Théo Curin, Para-swimming
Sport plays a big part in my life. When I was younger, I used to go to a thing called LimbPower Games, where I got to be with other children that lost limbs and try out new sports… and it was the first time I ever saw someone like me swim. And then after that I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
Ellie Challis, Para-swimming
My support first began in the hospital, in the Intensive Care Unit thanks to doctors who were well-prepared. And then I received very important support from the Spanish Association Against Meningitis who immediately contacted me to offer moral support, not only to me, but also to my relatives.”
Davide Morana, Para-athletics
Hear from our advisory council and regional coordinators
What you need to know about meningitis
Meningitis is the inflammation of the meninges, the lining of the brain and spinal cord. It is usually caused by an infection (2). Bacterial meningitis is the most common dangerous type of meningitis, and it is largely preventable, (2) however despite substantial progress in the last two decades, meningitis remains one of the world’s top infectious disease killers. (3)
These numbers underpin the importance of our work to raise awareness of symptoms and prevention options:
Over 2.5 million people globally are affected by meningitis each year. (4)
Tragically, 1 in 10 dies from meningitis. (4)
Meningitis can progress rapidly, leaving little time to act and it can lead to death within 24 hours. (2)
2 in 10 survivors are left with life-changing disabilities, such as brain injury or limb loss. (2)
Half of all meningitis-related deaths occur in children under the age of 5, although people of all ages can be affected. (1)
What can you do to support the fight against meningitis?
Speak to your doctor about prevention options.
Know the symptoms, trust your instincts and seek professional medical advice if you suspect someone you know is unwell.
Get involved on World Meningitis Day
Protect. Support. Defeat.
Let’s fly the Meningitis Flag.
WHO. Defeating meningitis by 2030: a global road map, 2021. Available at https://www.who.int/initiatives/defeating-meningitis-by-2030 [Accessed January 2024]
WHO. Meningococcal meningitis. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/meningococcal-meningitis [Accessed January 2024]
Meningitis Research Foundation and the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations. Defeating Meningitis. Our Strategy 2021-2025. Available at: https://www.meningitis.org/getmedia/e90224ae-ea97-47cb-88a6-2730d1606a96/Meningitis-Research-Foundation_5-year-strategy_21-25 [Accessed January 2024]
World Health Assembly endorsees the 1st ever resolution on meningitis prevention and control. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news/item/13-01-2021-world-health-assembly-endorses-the-1st-ever-resolution-on-meningitis-prevention-and-control [Accessed January 2024]