World Meningitis Day was first held in 2008 and every year since then we at the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO) have been using this opportunity to raise awareness of meningitis as a global public health issue. Historically, the campaign has been held on 24th April but to allow more people to participate we're changing the date to 5th October and we’re working towards trying to get this recognised as an official health day.
If we are successful in securing World Meningitis Day as an official health day, it would allow us to leverage a bigger platform and reach more people with life-saving information about meningitis. Holding the campaign in April meant that it’s always been flanked by some other significant health campaigns, making it difficult for other partners to participate in a meaningful way. By changing the date to 5th October, we hope more people will have the chance to unite under the same message and to join the fight to defeat meningitis by 2030.
Part of WHO’s Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis by 2030 includes improving the global recognition for World Meningitis Day, recognising the campaign as a vital component of the “Advocacy and Engagement” pillar that aims to raise public and political awareness of meningitis and its impact. CoMO is currently in discussion with WHO about the process for having World Meningitis Day recognised as an official health day.
Meningitis continues to have devastating consequences all over the world and so we want to make it as easy as possible for people to get involved. Thank you all for your patience while we work on this crucial step for the future of World Meningitis Day and we look forward to commemorating next year’s campaign with you in October!