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Meningitis can kill in less than 24 hours. Tragically, around half of all meningitis deaths are children under 5. Join the global movement to defeat meningitis.

World Meningitis Day - 5th October 2024: united in the race to defeat meningitis

Meningitis can affect anyone, anywhere, at any time. Every year since 2009, a global community of people affected by meningitis has come together to mark World Meningitis Day. Founded by the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO), which is now a part of Meningitis Research Foundation, our aim is to spread life-saving awareness and ensure no one learns about it for the first time when they are seriously ill in hospital with meningitis.

Join us and let’s defeat meningitis together. 

What is meningitis?

Meningitis is the swelling of the lining around the brain and spinal cord (the meninges) and is usually caused by a bacterial, fungal or viral infection.  


There are more than 2.5 million cases of meningitis worldwide every year. 

Why is action needed?

Meningitis is a devastating and debilitating disease. It develops rapidly, leaving someone with little time to seek the treatment they need to survive. It can kill within hours, often has life-long health implications for those that do survive and serious social and economic consequences. 

Why defeating meningitis matters

Watch our video to hear CoMO members from around the world share their meningitis experiences and why it's crucial to defeat it.

What will the World Health Organization's Global Road Map achieve?

Turning the road map into reality will save up to 200,000 lives a year. 

The road map’s three goals:

  • Elimination of bacterial meningitis epidemics.

  • Reduction of cases of vaccine-preventable bacterial meningitis by 50% and deaths by 70%.

  • Reduction of disability and improvement of quality of life after meningitis due to any cause.

Join us in spreading awareness and pushing for change as we aim to meet these visionary goals by 2030.  

What impact does World Meningitis Day have?

World Meningitis Day takes place every year on the 5th October. The campaign initially began with CoMO members holding events in five countries. Today, it’s a global movement, with millions of people from 126 countries coming together to take action last year. In just two years, the number of countries supporting World Meningitis Day has increased by 162%, making 2023 the biggest year yet.

How long until World Meningitis Day 2024?



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Stay informed

Sign up to the Meningitis Research Foundation’s monthly newsletter and find out how we are working to defeat meningitis. Each email is packed with the news on the latest science, meningitis vaccines, and health policy developments. You can also learn more about what is being achieved by the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations - our global network of meningitis groups and advocates. 


#DefeatMeningitis #WorldMeningitisDay

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© Meningitis Research Foundation and Confederation of Meningitis Organisations
A charity registered in England and Wales no 1091105, in Scotland no SC037586, & in Ireland 20034368
A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no 4367866
Registered Office: Room 703, The Programme Building 7th Floor, The Pithay, Bristol BS1 2NB

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