Meningitis Awareness Week (19-25th September) sees the launch of an online video to support Meningitis Research Foundation’s (MRF) Counting the Cost of Meningitis campaign and builds support for vaccination against meningitis and septicaemia. (meningitis.org/sign )
MRF is petitioning the UK Government to ensure widespread preventative treatment of the diseases is implemented at the earliest opportunity, reducing the lifetime impact of meningitis and septicaemia. The video explains the value of a signature encouraging people to signing up to the MRF’s petition , with a view to achieving in excess of 10,000 signatures.
The shocking lifelong financial costs of surviving meningitis and septicaemia have been examined by MRF in their ‘Counting the Cost of Meningitis’ campaign. Prevention is more cost effective than treatment; therefore MRF is calling on the Government to pursue the widest and earliest implementation of vaccines to prevent the diseases.
Counting the Cost of Meningitis is a comprehensive analysis of the lifetime impact of the diseases illustrated through two fictional case studies:
Peter, who was 18 months old when he was struck down with septicaemia which left him with multiple amputations and behavioural difficulties. Total lifelong costs of supporting Peter up to age 70 are £2,833,374.
Emma, who was three years old when she became ill with meningitis which left her brain damaged, deaf and partially blind. Total lifelong costs of supporting Emma up to age 50 are £3,507,664.
These illnesses have far-reaching consequences with survivors facing an on-going need for specialist medical care as well as additional educational and financial support running into millions of pounds.
Christopher Head, Chief Executive of MRF said: “’Counting the Cost of Meningitis’ shows how those who survive can struggle to come to terms with the impact of these horrific diseases which change lives forever. Our campaign makes practical recommendations to Government to reduce the burden of disease through vaccination in the UK. Vaccination provides peace of mind across the country and we are urging everyone across the UK to sign our online petition at www.meningitis.org/sign .”
Notes to Editors:For more information on ‘Counting the Cost of Meningitis’ and case studies please visit: www.meningitis.org/ 
Meningitis Research Foundation is currently funding 18 research projects into the prevention, detection and treatment of meningitis and septicaemia. The Foundation has spent £16.5 million on research since its inception in 1989
Meningitis Research Foundation operates a freefone 24 hour helpline – 080 8800 3344 – providing information on meningitis and septicaemia to the general public and health professionals
Information on meningitis and septicaemia is also available on the Foundation’s world-renowned website http://www.meningitis.org/  in 22 languages. An interpretation service in 150 languages is available through the 24-hour helpline
The Foundation offers support for those affected by meningitis and septicaemia. Trained helpline staff are available 365 days a year. A befriending service links people with experience of meningitis and septicaemia to share their experiences and counsel each other