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World Meningitis Day is a critical moment for raising awareness and advocating for change.

World Meningitis Day and the Road Map to Defeat Meningitis

The World Health Organization's (WHO) Global Road Map is the first ever global plan to defeat meningitis. One of the goals within the Road Map is to ensure participation of at least 80% of member states on World Meningitis Day, which takes place on 5th October.


In 2023, 126 countries - almost two-thirds of WHO member states - participated in World Meningitis Day, making it the biggest year to date. We hope to make 2024 even bigger.

What is the Global Road Map to Defeat Meningitis by 2030?

The Road Map outlines the vision for defeating meningitis by 2030 and the action plan to get us there. It has been developed by the WHO, with input from leading international experts, scientists, country representatives, civil society organisations like Meningitis Research Foundation and Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO), and people directly affected by meningitis. The Road Map is designed to support countries around the world to defeat meningitis, a largely preventable disease, by detailing the key actions (milestones) that need to be prioritised between now and 2030.  

Why is a Road Map needed?

Bacterial meningitis is the deadliest form of meningitis, with the World Health Organization estimating that around 1 in 6 people who get it will die.  Despite bacterial meningitis being largely preventable through vaccination, progress in defeating meningitis lags behind that of other diseases. The Road Map has been created to ensure that defeating meningitis is an international priority. If achieved, it could save up to 200,000 people from dying from meningitis every year. 

How is World Meningitis Day helping to achieve the goals of the Road Map? 

Countries worldwide have committed to the vision of the WHO’s Road Map to Defeat Meningitis by 2030. But we all have a role to play in making that vision a reality. World Meningitis Day is a key awareness-raising moment which can be used to make sure that funders and policymakers at all levels recognise the importance of prioritising and integrating the Road Map to defeat meningitis into country plans. Supporting World Meningitis Day is one of the ways you can show your support for the Road Map and help achieve the goal of defeating meningitis by 2030.  


Meningitis Research Foundation, including its international membership network, CoMO, is a member of the WHO Technical Task Force and we coordinate milestones focused on advocacy and engagement. 


We are committed to ensuring that people affected by meningitis are at the heart of the Road Map process, so that global efforts to defeat the disease are informed by those who best understand its impact.  In line with this, we have developed the Race to 2030 programme, which supports people around the world to engage with the Road Map. This includes taking part in activities like World Meningitis Day, using specially created advocacy resources, supporting participation in national meningitis plans, and collaborating with partners and wider civil society to defeat meningitis. Watch our video to learn how you can engage with the Road Map and help contribute to global efforts in defeating meningitis. 

Support World Meningitis Day 2024

Show your support on the 5th October. Help us to make this year’s World Meningitis Day bigger and better.  


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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
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Registered Office: Room 703, The Programme Building 7th Floor, The Pithay, Bristol BS1 2NB

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