- Monday, 08 October 2012
The ‘Meningitis: Keep Watching’ campaign launched to warn people that meningitis is still here. The campaign, focused around an innovative awareness film, uses digital media to mobilise people to help spread the word that children are not protected against all types of meningitis.
The campaign has been prompted by concern that many people mistakenly think their children and grandchildren are protected against all types of the disease. This can lead to them missing the symptoms and delays in seeking medical advice. The scale of the problem is highlighted in research showing that more than two-thirds of parents in the UK are unaware that current vaccinations do not protect their children from all forms of the disease.
The ‘Meningitis: Keep Watching’ campaign aims to dispel this myth. The short film, a quiz and supplementary information can be found on Facebook at www.meningitiskeepwatching.co.uk and parents are encouraged to share the campaign with friends and family to disseminate the message far and wide.
“Vaccination is the only way to protect children against meningitis but current vaccinations do not provide protection against all types of the disease. Because of this, it is important to know the symptoms and seek urgent medical advice if you suspect your grandchild has meningitis,” said Dr Nelly Ninis, Consultant Paediatrician at St Mary’s Hospital London and supporter of the Keep Watching campaign. “Meningitis can maim and kill within hours so parents and grandparents need to be aware that this disease is still a real threat to children.”
Bacterial meningitis affects around 3,400 people in the UK each year, and kills more children than any other infectious disease. Most cases occur during the winter season. With the end of summer fast approaching and children going back to school, the campaign urges parents and grandparents to get to grips with looking out for meningitis before the winter season peak.
The campaign is being led by the three UK meningitis charities; Meningitis Research Foundation, Meningitis Trust and Meningitis UK. The scale of this collaboration is unprecedented and by joining forces they hope their united efforts will have a major impact on meningitis awareness in the UK. In a joint statement they said “Knowledge can save lives when it comes to meningitis. We urge parents and grandparents to take a few minutes to view the Keep Watching film and to think about what they can do to spread the word and protect their children and grandchildren. By sharing this film with friends and family we can help save others from this devastating disease.”
This campaign has been made possible with the support of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited.