WHO and partners to take immediate action to combat Meningitis

The WHO (World Health Organization) and partners have unveiled the first-ever international strategy to combat Meningitis, an illness that kills hundreds of thousands of people each year.

The objective of this strategy is to end bacterial meningitis outbreaks by 2030, cutting mortality by 70% and the number of cases by half.

According to the organizations, the devised plan may save more than 200,000 lives per year and dramatically reduce disease-related disability.

The plan ‘The Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis by 2030’ was introduced by several partners involved in the virtual event held by WHO on prevention and control of Meningitis. Its main goals is to prevent infections and to improve care and diagnostics for infected individuals.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said Meningitis can be fatal and debilitating; it strikes rapidly, has significant health, economic, and societal repercussions, and can lead to disastrous epidemics.

He said that it is about time to end Meningitis once and for all by extending access to current tools like vaccinations, driving new research and innovation to prevent, identify, and treat the disease's numerous causes, and enhancing rehabilitation for those who have been affected.

Meningitis, the disease triggered by bacterial infection, is fatal and kills about 250,000 people each year and causes epidemics to spread quickly.

It kills one out of every ten infected persons, usually children and teenagers, and leaves one out of every five with long-term disabilities such as hearing and vision loss, neurological damage, seizures, and cognitive impairment.

Meningitis outbreaks have swept the globe in the last ten years, with the 'Meningitis Belt,' which covers 26 nations in Sub-Saharan Africa, being the most prevalent.

These epidemics are unexpected, can disrupt health systems and cause poverty, resulting in catastrophic costs for households and communities.

Meningococcal, Haemophilus influenzae type b, and pneumococcal vaccinations are among the immunizations that protect against Meningitis. However, these life-saving vaccines are not available to all regions, and many countries have yet to include them in their national programs.

Source Credit - https://www.who.int/news/item/28-09-2021-who-and-partners-call-for-urgent-action-on-meningitis