Experts from around the world meet to agree next steps to defeat meningitis
Meningitis remains a universal public health challenge in countries around the world. The global number of deaths due to meningitis is estimated at around 380,000 annually.
Though there has been great progress due to successful vaccination programmes in some parts of the world – a 21% reduction in annual deaths since 1990 – it still lags far behind the progress for other diseases (deaths caused by tetanus and diarrhoea have dropped by 90% and 58% respectively over the same period).
Answering a call from people affected by meningitis, representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO) and experts from around the world met to coordinating the development of a global roadmap which will set out goals and specific solutions to defeat meningitis by 2030.
The roadmap will galvanise action to:
1. Eliminate meningitis epidemics
2. Reduce cases and deaths from vaccine-preventable meningitis
3. Decrease the impact of after effects
The scope of the roadmap will be global while enabling strategic goals, milestones and activities to be tailored to different regions.
The global fight against meningitis is fully aligned with WHO’s new 13th General Programme of Work and captures the essence of WHO’s three-fold mission: promote health; keep the world safe; serve the vulnerable.
A taskforce of major technical partners who have been historically invested in long-term meningitis control have been convened to take the roadmap development forward. The taskforce includes, but is not limited to, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Meningitis Research Foundation, Médecins Sans Frontières, PATH, UNICEF and WHO.
Read Meningitis Research Foundation’s blog about the latest developments:
Information on the current situation of bacterial meningitis globally can be found in the recently published Background Situation Analysis (BSA) from the World Health Organization. The BSA is intended to inform the development of the Global Roadmap ‘Defeating meningitis by 2030’ and provides a sound basis to inform its key priorities: https://www.who.int/immunization/research/BSA_20feb2019.pdf?ua=
The first taskforce meeting helped to define the scope of the roadmap. The notes from the meeting can be found here:
Images from the meeting: