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Join the World Meningitis Day working group

Updated: Mar 19

World Meningitis Day (5 October) is a landmark day in the CoMO calendar. It represents the biggest opportunity we have each year to make our joint endeavour to defeat meningitis a high priority for relevant decision-makers.


Pioneered in 2008 by CoMO members, today it has grown into a global movement that brings together people from all over the world. In 2023, people and organisations in 126 countries took action to mark the day, making it the farthest-reaching year so far.


Several years ago, we created the World Meningitis Day working group – a place where CoMO members contribute to the planning and success of this international campaign.


What do working group members do?


Working group members provide important perspectives from a diverse range of countries, allowing the campaign direction set by the central CoMO and Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) team to be adapted into one that has a truly global appeal.


For example, when we create our toolkit of infographics, images and printable leaflets for World Meningitis Day, working group members give invaluable feedback about those resources and ensure they have international relevance.


The group also helps galvanise the support of the wider CoMO membership,  encouraging others to take part.


Why join the working group?

  • It’s a fantastic opportunity to get involved in the meningitis calendar's biggest and most impactful event.

  • As a CoMO member, you could make a difference on a global scale.

  • Learn from members with years of campaigning experience – and share your ideas.

 

This year's working group is made up of fifteen members from across our four regions. Here’s a glimpse into their hopes and experiences.

 


Christine Bennborn, Meningokockfonden, Sweden

How has the working group evolved since you joined in 2020?

“In the beginning, we were just a small group of people from a few countries, working to define the campaign message and wording, designing social media tiles and translating into different languages. Now we have grown into a larger group, with people from many different countries bringing a variety of perspectives, as well as receiving great support from MRF.”

 



Isaac Ampomah, Concern Health Education Project, Ghana

What do you see as one of the achievements of the working group?

“The working group has been interactive and inclusive. The group’s agendas help to shape World Meningitis Day activities by incorporating the views and ideas of all the group members. To me, it serves as an excellent review mechanism, and enables effective coordination of the future activities of both CoMO members and CoMO itself.”

 



Lucie Bucci, public health consultant and Friend of CoMO, Canada

Why did you decide to join the working group this year?

“Previously, I collaborated with CoMO on the development and implementation of various communication pieces (e.g. blogs and media advisories) to raise awareness for World Meningitis Day. I am delighted to continue contributing to this important campaign through the working group. I believe this group can have a tremendous impact on the elimination of meningitis globally.”



Dr. Ghulam Mustafa, the Helping Hands Foundation, Pakistan

What have you found most valuable about being a part of the working group?

“Being part of the working group has profoundly deepened my commitment to global health, particularly in the fight against meningitis. This experience has enriched me, allowing me to contribute to a cause far greater than myself. Seeing our collective efforts lead to heightened awareness and potentially life-saving changes has been inspiring. This journey has given me hope that together, we can make a significant impact.”

 


What is your hope for World Meningitis Day this year?

“My hopes for World Meningitis Day 2024 are extremely high, having learnt a lot from other member activities last year.

I strongly hope that the Ministry of Health in Kenya will be supportive to our activities and be part of the WHO Global Road Map to Defeat Meningitis by 2030.”

 



Interested in joining?


We want to have the widest representation possible for our working group. If you are a CoMO member interested in joining the group this year, please contact Sam Brightbart before 20 March 2024. We’d also like to hear from you if you’re interested in joining in the future.


Or, if you would like more information on World Meningitis Day activities and how you could get involved, please get in touch.

 

 

The other members of this year's working group are:


Dr. Obinna Ebirim, doctor and Friend of CoMO, Nigeria; Carlos Mesa, meningitis survivor and Friend of CoMO, Costa Rica; Michinori Shirano and Hajime Takeuchi, the Japan Child Meningitis Organisation; Patti Wukovits, the Kimberly Coffey Foundation, USA; Mohamed Samura, Children Advocacy Forum Sierra Leone; Wilma Witkamp, Nederlandse Meningitis Stichting, The Netherlands; Annie Hamel, Association Petit Ange, France; Elena Moya, Asociación Española contra la Meningitis, Spain; Linda Gibbs, Meningitis Centre Australia; Patsy Schanbaum, the JAMIE Group, USA; and Omorodion Rhoda Omoile, Care and Development Centre, Nigeria.


Heartfelt thanks to all members, past and present, who have contributed to the group over the years.

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