WHO resolves to end meningitis by 2030

Thursday September 30 2021

A pupil in Kenya receives a vaccine against meningitis.The Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis by 2030 strategy is aimed at eliminating the outbreak of bacterial meningitis. PHOTO | FILE | NMG



The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday announced a strategy to eliminate meningitis by 2030.

The Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis by 2030 is aimed at eliminating the outbreak of bacterial meningitis. If successful more than 200,000 lives could be saved annually, reducing deaths caused by meningitis by 70 percent.   

Some of the steps to be prioritised include widespread immunisation coverage, the development of new affordable vaccines, and improved prevention strategies and outbreak response.

Additionally, speedy diagnosis and optimal treatment for patients will be strengthened. 

This comes after the World Health Assembly passed a resolution on how to deal with the disease, which was unanimously endorsed by WHO member states in 2020.


Statistics show that meningitis kills about 250,000 people a year globally, which translates to one in every ten infected people, mostly children, and teenagers.

While several vaccines against meningitis have been developed, many people in countries that have recorded cases of the disease do not have access to them, while other countries are yet to introduce the vaccine into their national health programmes.

"It is time to tackle meningitis globally once and for all by urgently expanding access to existing tools like vaccines, spearheading new research and innovation to prevent, detect and treat the various causes of the disease, and improving rehabilitation for those affected," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.