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Meningitis Trust Active In Supporting Waiouru

National Meningitis Trust of New Zealand Media Release - 7 July 2003

MENINGITIS TRUST ACTIVE IN SUPPORTING WAIOURU

The Meningitis Trust made a presentation to a community meeting in Waiouru on Friday, aimed at informing the local community about meningitis and how to reduce the risk of contracting the disease.

The Trust was invited by the New Zealand Army to support the local community after two soldiers at the military camp had recently contracted the disease, one fatally.

The meeting of the community was well attended and heard a presentation on the disease, its symptoms and how to reduce the risk of contracting it from Professor Diana Lennon, Professor of Community Paediatrics from the University of Auckland.

Dr Lennon is a medical adviser to the Trust and has an international reputation in the field of infectious diseases and meningococcal disease. She is also a member of the Meningicoccal Management Team which is developing a vaccine for the control of meningicoccal disease in NZ.

There were many questions from the floor and Professor Lennon was able to give very clear answers to a range of concerns and comment.

Mr Richard Handley, the Chair of the Trust and Mr Neville Wallace, a Trustee accompanied Professor Lennon and gave further information on the Trust which was set up five years ago by a group of concerned parents to assist with the provision of information and the raising of awareness of the disease.

"We were very pleased to be able to respond to the request from the Waiouru community for more information," he said. "They naturally had concerns about this very nasty disease and how they might take steps to reduce risk. I am certain Professor Lennon's discussion was of great assistance."

The Mayor of the Ruapehu District Council Sue Morris in thanking the Trust for its efforts spoke of the critical need to assist and support communities at times like these, "We are very grateful for her support and clear guidance", she said.

Major Lee Griffiths of the Army Medical Service was also very pleased for the Trust's support saying, "To have such a distinguished speaker tonight is of great assistance in giving information and confidence to the community which has been shaken with the recent death to meningitis".

The Trust has been invited back to Waiouru to work with the schools in the new term.

ENDS

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