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WHO Race to 2030 - why is the 26th April investment case so important?

Updated: Apr 19

The 26th April 2024 marks a major milestone in the journey to tackle the devastating impacts of meningitis. Held at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, this will be the WHO’s first high-level meeting to defeat meningitis. The event will be hosted by the French government and will be a global call to action to boost commitments towards defeating meningitis by 2030. The high-level meeting will also see the much-anticipated launch of the WHO’s investment case for meningitis.

This is the first time a price-tag has been put on how much new funding it will take to defeat meningitis. Without the money set out in this investment case, reaching the goal of defeating meningitis by 2030 remains a hope, not a plan.

This is a critical moment for advocates and civil society to come together and celebrate the occasion, whilst calling for much-needed change.

Read on to find out more about what the high-level meeting and the investment case mean for the fight to defeat meningitis, and how you can get involved in all of the exciting activities being planned for the day.

What is the high-level meeting?  

The high-level meeting will be the first time that governments, international institutions, civil society organisations and people with lived experience of meningitis have officially come together since the launch of the WHO’s Global Road Map to Defeat Meningitis by 2030 in 2020.

The Road Map was developed by the WHO with extensive consultation and input from hundreds of global experts, including people directly affected by meningitis, scientists, country representatives and civil society organisations like Meningitis Research Foundation and the CoMO network. The Road Map aims to dramatically improve meningitis prevention, diagnosis and treatment, disease monitoring, health advocacy, support and aftercare.

The high-level meeting will feature a scientific conference on meningitis which will delve into research advances, celebrate successes and plan for milestones ahead. This will be accompanied by a series of commitments from stakeholders across the world working on meningitis. For some governments and large institutions, these commitments may be financial. For others, commitments will be pledges to action, advocacy or policy change. Meningitis Research Foundation and CoMO have developed a pledge which we plan to share on the day. You can find out more about that, and how to get involved, below.

The meeting will take place during World Immunization Week. This highlights the urgent need for a global effort to fund vaccine delivery, adequate support and aftercare for survivors and awareness-raising campaigns in order to move towards defeating meningitis.

What is an investment case and why is it important?

This publication of the investment case will set out the funding requirements, as assessed by the WHO, for each of the Road Map’s five pillars. Meningitis Research Foundation, working with CoMO members, supported the WHO by providing some data points, patient testimony and figures for advocacy and engagement for the investment case.

The publication of the investment case is a critical milestone in the journey towards defeating meningitis. The only way to meet the Road Map’s goals in a timely and sustainable way, and to end preventable deaths and the life-changing impacts of meningitis, is to ensure that all five pillars of the Road Map have long-term, sustained and sufficient funding. This will help to ensure that advocates around the world, like CoMO members, have the evidence they need to push for much-needed funds to enable change nationally, regionally and globally.

Why should I get involved in the launch? 

As we approach the halfway point in the timeline towards 2030, the first global gathering of governments, international institutions, patients and advocates to focus solely on meningitis must be celebrated and recognised as an opportunity to push for the much-needed ambition, attention and funding to defeat meningitis by 2030.

From engaging with global initiatives such as World Meningitis Day to individual actions (like meeting with policymakers or holding an event in memory of a loved one), advocates have been pivotal in global progress to tackle meningitis. Representation by civil society organisations and people directly impacted by meningitis around the high-level meeting will be a powerful reminder to global decision-makers of the urgent need for action to defeat meningitis. This will be critical in ensuring that donor governments and multilateral organisations meet the funding requirements set out by the WHO in order to enable advocates, communities and civil society organisations to create long-term and sustainable change.

How can I get involved in the launch?

We believe that, by raising our voices together, the CoMO network can make a real impact around the high-level meeting. To do this, we’ve planned a number of advocacy activities for you to get involved in.

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