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Novartis teams up with artist in meningitis campaign

Digital book contains photos of disease survivors taken by Anne Geddes
Anne Geddes Novartis menengitis campaign 01

Meningitis survivor Danielle poses with her mother Leanne | Photo by Anne Geddes

Pharma company Novartis has joined with photographer Anne Geddes to raise awareness of meningococcal meningitis.

A new campaign – 'Protecting our Future' – kicked off on April 24, World Meningitis Day, with the launch of a digital book containing portraits of 15 survivors of meningococcal meningitis.

The book, 'Protecting our Future: meningococcal disease in portraits', can be downloaded, free of charge, at www.protegeonsnotreavenir.tumblr.com. With its portraits, it aims to help the public understand the sudden and significant effects of the disease on the lives of young people.

While still rare, meningococcal disease can lead to death within 24 hours of onset. Its symptoms are not specific, and often resemble those of influenza, added Ron Gold of CoMO, the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations.

"The disease can progress rapidly and its effects are often devastating. The best protection against it is the meningitis vaccination,” he said.

Anne Geddes Novartis meningitis campaign 02 

Amber was rushed to the hospital at age two when she contracted meningococcaldisease and septicemia | Photo by Anne Geddes  

The project – developed by Novartis Vaccines in partnership with CoMo – brought together 15 survivors from several countries, including Canada, Brazil, Ireland and Germany. They ranged in age from nine months to 25 years.

“Through a series of what I believe are inspirational photographs of meningococcal disease survivors and families impacted by the disease, this project celebrates survivors' triumphs and honours those who have tragically lost their lives,” said Geddes.

"Through these images, I hope parents feel empowered to understand all the implications of the disease and learn more about the options available to them.”

Anne Geddes Novartis meningitis campaign 03 

Harvey contracted meningococcal disease when he was two years old | Photo by Anne Geddes

Vaccination remains the best protection against meningitis, and the campaign is designed to get this message across to parents.

“It's important for parents to speak to their paediatrician so they know the signs of meningitis and can look for them in their child,” said Furakh Mir, founder of Meningitis Relief Canada.

“Through this project, we hope parents will feel empowered to ask questions about the threat of this disease and how they can help protect their children through vaccination.”

Article by
Tara Craig

1st May 2014

From: Marketing

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