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5 ways CoMO members took part in World Meningitis Day this year

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

5 October is the biggest date in the calendar for CoMO. It is the annual moment to bring the cause we all care about so deeply to public and political attention. Each year, we want to get people everywhere talking about why defeating meningitis matters, both on a global level and within countries.

In 2023, we asked people all over the world to participate in three main ways: sharing information from our toolkit, sharing their personal meningitis stories, and taking a photo of something illuminated to mark the occasion. However, on top of taking part in these actions, CoMO members from around the world organised a wide range of activities in their countries to raise the profile of World Meningitis Day and spread its message to varied audiences. Here are just some of the ways they achieved this this year:

A world first

One of the most unique contributions we saw to this year's World Meningitis Day came from the National Academy for Learning in India in collaboration with CoMO member The Brain Child Trust: not one, but two raps exclusively about meningitis, performed by pupils at the Academy. It's difficult to do them justice in writing, but suffice to say that if you've ever wondered whether it's possible to squeeze the terms “cerebrospinal fluid” and “prophylaxis” into rap lyrics, you'd better watch rap #2!

Radio and TV appearances

“It is very important that we keep government on its toes, and that all these commitments are achieved in order to defeat [meningitis].” Isaac Ampomah, Concern Health Education Project, Ghana

CoMO members in several countries – including Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Ireland, Sierra Leone, and Sweden – appeared on radio and television to talk about meningitis and the global day of action. Between them, we estimate they reached at least 13.5 million people with crucial messages about the importance of treating meningitis rapidly, getting vaccinated, and developing national plans to tackle the disease – as well as sharing their personal experiences. We were especially delighted to hear about the coverage in Côte d'Ivoire, which was the first time our member organisation had been invited to appear on national television.

Educational events

Events organised by CoMO members were an opportunity to dig deeper into the topic of meningitis for a variety of audiences. An online webinar hosted for a Filipino audience combined a range of facts about the disease with personal testimony from people affected. A symposium in Japan went into extensive detail on the latest statistics about the disease, and was held at the House of Representatives, addressing an audience of political decision-makers. And an update call for meningitis advocates in the USA provided the latest information on vaccine availability by state and how campaigning organisations and support groups can contribute to meningitis prevention.

In-person events for survivors and families

CoMO member organisations in both Spain and the Netherlands organised full-day events where they hosted survivors and their families. These included sessions not just on meningitis itself, but also on managing emotions and exchanging experiences and tips. In the Netherlands, young adult attendees had the opportunity to learn about medical history in a museum park; in Spain, children under 14 had fun activities provided while their parents attended the therapeutic sessions. These events are an example of how aftercare for meningitis survivors is not just about contact with medical staff – and of how a sense of community can be supportive for people's health.

Social media creativity

Various CoMO members got creative on social media. Brazilian member Associação Brasileira de Combate à Meningite published six Instagram posts over the course of a week which eventually revealed the meningitis flag in the background when viewed together on their profile. And members from around the world responded to our call for photos of something illuminated with a variety of beautiful, and in many cases very personal, images. That's not to mention those members who arranged for buildings in their country to be lit up on 5 October – watch this space for an upcoming blog that will bring together some of the most stunning of those photos.


This is only a selection of the incredibly wide range of activities that took place on World Meningitis Day this year. Want to tell us about what you did so we can feature it in future blogs and other publications? Please email

Want to make sure that you hear about next year's World Meningitis Day campaign? Sign up to our quarterly newsletter here:

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