MENINGITIS

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched the first-ever global strategy to defeat meningitis – ‘Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis by 2030’.

Important points:

The roadmap includes three visionary goals:

  1. Eliminate epidemics of bacterial meningitis.
  2. Reduce cases of vaccine-preventable bacterial meningitis by 50% and deaths by 70%.
  3. Reduce disability and improve quality of life after meningitis of any cause.

Aims:

  • Achievement of high immunisation coverage, development of new affordable vaccines and improved prevention strategies and outbreak response.
  • Speedy diagnosis and optimal treatment for patients.
  • Good data to guide prevention and control efforts.
  • Care and support for those affected, focusing on early recognition and improved access to care and support for after-effects.
  • Advocacy and engagement, to ensure high awareness of meningitis, accountability for national plans, and affirmation of the right to prevention, care and after-care services.

Meningitis:

  • Meningitis is an inflammation (swelling) of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.
  • It is predominantly caused by bacterial and viral infection. However, injuries, cancer, certain drugs, and other types of infections also can cause meningitis.
  • Symptoms: Severe headache that seems different from normal, Sudden high fever, Stiff neck, Confusion or difficulty concentrating, etc.
  • Transmission: Most bacteria that cause meningitis such as meningococcus, pneumococcus and Haemophilusinfluenzae are carried in the human nose and throat.
  • They spread from person to person by respiratory droplets or throat secretions.
  • Group B streptococcus (bacteria) is often spread from mother to child around the time of birth.
  • Meningitis is fatal and debilitating, striking fast with serious health, economic and social consequences, including life-long disabilities, and affecting people of all ages in all countries.

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

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