Meningitis Trust continues campaign against the hidden killer
Meningitis Trust General Manager, Fiona Colbert agrees with Professor Cameron Grant quoted as saying that Pneumonia, New
Zealand's hidden killer certainly has a low profile considering its outcomes.
Pneumonia has been hiding in the shadows in New Zealand for years. Silent because it has taken second place to
meningococcal disease, with the vaccine campaign to eradicate the epidemic of meningococcal B but now it is time to deal
with this issue.
Pneumococcal disease appears in many ways, as meningitis, pneumonia, blood poisoning [septicaemia] and otitis media [a
middle ear infection], affecting thousands of children and families in NZ every year. Ms Colbert said 'the families we
are supporting have been vigilant for the signs of meningitis only to loose there baby to this other infection. We
cannot stress enough that parents must remain vigilant for these types of diseases that can have devastating
Since May 2006 the Meningitis Trust has been campaigning for the pneumococcal vaccine to be introduced onto the free
immunisation schedule. We have had support from families throughout the country that feel strongly that this is the only
strategic way forward to combat such a deadly infection in our children.
The Meningitis Trust is again calling on the Government to waste no more time and introduce this life saving vaccine for
all children in NZ. Families across New Zealand are demanding the inclusion of this vaccine in the schedule for 2008.