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Guiding the creation of the Meningitis Flag: an interview with Meningokockfonden

In 2023, CoMO’s advisory council members and regional coordinators worked together to guide the creation of the Meningitis Flag, alongside textile designer Laura Spring, para-athletes Théo Currin, Ellie Challis and Davide Morana, Meningitis Research Foundation colleagues and the communications team at global pharmaceutical company Sanofi.  


The work of CoMO’s advisory council members and regional coordinators has ensured the flag can be a global symbol that represents the ambitious movement that wants to see meningitis defeated all over the world. As a group, they represent ten countries, five continents and many years of advocacy, campaigning and awareness-raising to see change happen. 


As we launch our new Meningitis Flag hub, we caught up with Christine Bennborn (CoMO advisory council member and Europe representative) who was part of the group who guided the Meningitis Flag’s creation. She tells us more about herself, her organisation, and her hopes for the Meningitis Flag.

 

Tell us about yourself and your organisation 

My name is Christine Bennborn and I am the founder and chairperson of Meningokockfonden in Sweden, an organisation that I started when my oldest son Mathais died in 2019 after contracting bacterial meningitis and sepsis.  


Our proclaimed vision is ‘A world free of meningococcal and sepsis’ and our mission is ‘To share information to the public and defeat meningococcal and sepsis’. 

 

Christine at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, raising awareness on World Meningitis Day and using the Meningitis Flag as part of her activities.
Christine at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, raising awareness on World Meningitis Day and using the Meningitis Flag as part of her activities.

How long have you been a member of CoMO and what motivated you to join? 

I, and Meningokockfonden, have been a member since September 2019, first as a friend and later as a full member.  


I became a member because I was searching for information about bacterial meningitis when my son died in 2019 and I quickly realised that there was not a lot of information about the disease in Swedish.  


I also quickly decided that I wanted to be part of an organization that works towards defeating meningitis and felt that CoMO was the right organization for me. 


I am also part of the CoMO advisory council, as a representative from Europe. 

 

What meningitis awareness and advocacy activities do you have planned for this year?  

Our organization is more or less a ‘one woman show’ and, because I have a full-time job as a Chief Financial Officer in a larger company, there is only so much that we can do. However, I have just recently participated in a Pfizer video and in March I'm going to give a lecture to medical students and healthcare professionals about Meningokockfonden and bacterial meningitis.  


We are going to have throughout the year paid ads/articles in newspapers and social media and, of course, prepare for World Meningitis Day in October. 

 

How did you get involved with the Meningitis Flag?  

As part of the CoMO advisory council, I got the chance to participate in the design phase of the Meningitis Flag. 

 

How will having the Meningitis Flag support the work you are doing to defeat meningitis in your country?  

The Meningitis Flag will, in addition to our own logo, be a symbol to show that we are part of a worldwide group that together will fight to defeat meningitis by 2030. I also hope that it will be a ‘door opener’ for contacting companies, authorities and politicians. 

 

What tips would you give other CoMO members for using the Meningitis Flag in their awareness and advocacy work?  

All activities matter, small as well as large, so don’t be afraid to use the Meningitis Flag as a symbol of their work, whether it is local or global. 

 

Tell us what the Meningitis Flag means to you.  

The Meningitis Flag means to me exactly what the three colours stand for: protect, support and defeat meningitis. 


Find out more about Meningokockfonden 


Meningokockfonden logo

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