Since 1992, Meningitis Centre Australia has made significant progress in its fight against meningitis by educating the community about the signs and symptoms, providing support to families who have been affected by the disease and lobbying for the introduction of vaccines to protect the Australian community.
The Centre's achievements over this time include:
- Producing and providing the community with a range of informative brochures, posters and fridge magnets to help raise awareness of meningitis and its symptoms.
- Providing a freecall number and a website for all Australians to access information about meningitis and the ability to talk to someone confidentially.
- Being part of the 1993 campaign that supported the introduction of the Haemophilius influenza type b (Hib) vaccine. At the time Hib was the most common form of meningitis and following the introduction of this vaccine Hib has virtually been wiped out in Australia. This vaccine is also part of the National Immunisation Program.
- Creating a family support service that facilitates hospital visits, provides information on the possible after effects of meningitis as well as providing group talks and family links.
- Establishing the Vaccine Impact Surveillance Network (VISN) that monitors vaccine-preventable diseases to ensure vaccines are being effective.
- Gaining widespread media interest in meningitis through annual awareness campaigns and interviews with families affected by the disease.
- Expanding The Meningitis Centre's network of volunteers into most states across Australia.
- Compiling a national register of more than 350 stories from people across Australia who have experienced some form of meningitis.
- Taking a lead role in a national campaign that saw the childhood pneumococcal vaccine added to the National Immunisation Program guaranteeing that all Australian infants would receive the vaccine and protection against pneumococcal meningitis from January 2005.
- Running regular small space community newspaper campaigns across Australia that promote our website and the need to be aware of the symptoms.
- Becoming an inaugural member of the international Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO) in 2004.
- Publishing 'Meningitis - A Tragedy by Installments ', a book covering three different stories of survival along with the doctors perspective.