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A World First: A Global Road Map to Defeat Meningitis Approved by 194 Member States

Updated: Nov 14, 2020

We are delighted to share that the World Health Assembly has now agreed to proceed with the Global Road Map to Defeat Meningitis by 2030.

The road map will pave the way for great progress in the fight against meningitis, bringing together scientists, policy makers, patient groups and other stakeholders to tackle the key issues surrounding the disease. More information on the road map can be found here.

Meningitis is a global problem that affects millions of people a year, with 1 in 10 losing their lives and 1 in 5 being left with life-changing after-effects, such as epilepsy, deafness and limb-loss. Against the backdrop of a pandemic that has caused so much loss and change in our lives, it has been especially inspiring to see that we are taking significant steps towards defeating health problems that have not gone away.

International CoMO members, Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) were key drivers behind the initiation of the road map and many other members played key roles in shaping its contents. Sam Nye, CoMO Executive Director commented,

“It has been wonderful to contribute to such a vital process alongside our members, and we are eagerly anticipating the opportunities for increased action on meningitis that will come from it”.

The Road Map’s vision incorporates key data on the disease but also represents those who have been personally affected. Patsy Schanbaum, mother of meningitis survivor, Jamie, stated,

“We’re delighted that more will now be done to address gaps in vaccination in our region and around the world”.

The truly global nature of the road map means that there will be plans in place that are appropriately adapted for the range of contexts our network represents. Rhoda Omorodion, is Executive Director of Care and Development Centre (CADEC), based in Nigeria, on the meningitis belt. She commented,

“It’s great to see a plan that will amplify awareness of the variation in burden of disease and resources available in different countries and we are excited to take the next steps to defeating meningitis in our country and beyond.”

Whether we’re raising awareness of the signs and symptoms, providing support to those affected, or advocating for better surveillance, prevention and aftercare, we’ll do so under a united voice because that’s what makes us stronger.

CoMO and some of our members providing an input on a draft version of the road map through a consultancy meeting in 2019.

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