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World Meningitis Day

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The race is on to defeat meningitis by 2030: help light the road ahead

Meningitis affects anyone, anywhere at any time.


It develops rapidly, leaving someone with little time to seek the treatment they need to survive.


It kills in hours, often has life-long health implications for those that do survive and has serious social and economic consequences.


Across the world, meningitis kills 1 in 10 people and causes lifelong disability in 1 in 5 people who survive it.


For many who survive meningitis, they live with life-changing outcomes. That can include the need for the right support and aftercare to manage serious physical and intellectual disabilities: meningitis and neonatal sepsis combined are one of the world’s leading causes of severe intellectual disability, and meningitis is a leading cause of acquired deafness in infancy and childhood.


But for every family and every community touched by meningitis, there is hope, there is light.


The World Health Organization’s Global Road Map to Defeat Meningitis by 2030 will:


  • Save up to 200,000 people from dying from meningitis every year.


  • Improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment, disease monitoring, health advocacy, and support and aftercare.


  • Reduce disabilities caused by meningitis.


But the clock is ticking. Every day to 2030 matters.


Countries worldwide have committed to a vision. But everyone has a role to play to ensure governments all over the world act on it and make this our reality by 2030.


This World Meningitis Day, we want to create a global chain of light to symbolise our hopes for the aims of the World Health Organization’s Global Road Map to Defeat Meningitis by 2030 and in remembrance of everyone who has lost their life, or had their life changed forever, because of meningitis.


That’s why we’re inviting everyone, everywhere, to join us in remembering all those directly impacted by meningitis and in support of the Road Map’s aims. How? By helping to light the road ahead to mark this year’s World Meningitis Day.


Activities can be as creative as lighting up balloons, trees, bridges or buildings to as simple as lighting a candle, a photo frame or just leaving a light on. 

Taking part in the global movement couldn’t be easier.

Path with lanterns along the edge and trees either side covered in fairy lights

Ahead of World Meningitis Day - help us to make this year louder than ever.  


  • Save the date and choose how you want to join the chain light – it could be anything from lighting a candle to lighting up a tree or leaving a light on.

  • Take a picture and share it on social media to tell everyone what you’re doing.

  • Encourage everyone you know to do the same, so we create a global chain of light across the world, in every time zone, at 20.30 (8.30pm) on 5th October.  


Be part of the global chain of light on the 5th October.

  • Join the global chain of light – illuminate something at 20.30 (8.30pm), wherever you are in the world.

  • Share a picture of how you are lighting the road ahead, together with your reason for taking part, on social media to show your support.


Story bridge, Australia, World Meningitis Day 2019

  • Use the hashtags #DefeatMeningitis and #WorldMeningitisDay to join the global conversation.


The clock is ticking to 2030.

Join the race to defeat meningitis.

Show your support for the Global Road Map by lighting the road ahead.

Getting involved in World Meningitis Day 


Want to do more? 

There is more than one way you can support our World Meningitis Day campaign. 

Fairy Lights

Have you been directly impacted by meningitis? We want to unite 2030 voices from around the world to share their experiences of meningitis. Join us to help others understand the true impact of this disease and play your part in making a world free of meningitis become a reality.

Join us today in the race to defeat meningitis and let’s make World Meningitis Day louder than ever. 


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Stay informed

Sign up to the Meningitis Research Foundation’s monthly emails on how we are working to defeat meningitis, with news on the latest science, meningitis vaccines, and health policy developments.


Every year, World Meningitis Day brings together people from all over the world to highlight the need to raise awareness of meningitis, its signs and symptoms, the vaccines that are available, and that it is an infection that needs global attention and effort to be defeated.


Meningitis Research Foundation is an international charity which began in the UK in 1989. We’ve been working to defeat meningitis and septicaemia wherever they exist for over 30 years. The Confederation of Meningitis Organizations (CoMO) is our global network of patient groups, meningitis advocates, and health professionals. They work to reduce the incidence and impact of meningitis in more than 50 countries.

#DefeatMeningitis #WorldMeningitisDay

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© Confederation of Meningitis Organisations and Meningitis Research Foundation, 2023
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 715, The Programme Building 7th Floor, The Pithay, Bristol BS1 2NB

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