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Saturday, 29 November 2014

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SIGN THE PETITION: For a meningitis B vaccine

A Maryport man is co-ordinating a West Cumbrian campaign to have youngsters vaccinated against meningitis B.

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PETITION LAUNCH: Stuart McDougall, of the Asante Sana Foundation children's charity, dropped into Maryport’s Netherhall School to leave a copy of his petition calling on the Government to fast track the national roll-out of a new meningitis B drug treatment. From left: petition helper Charlotte Sievewright, headteacher Jonathan Johnson, head boy Kieran Thompson, Larissa Cremins, Stuart McDougall, Alexander Cuthell, head girl Alice Fidler, and petition helper Paul Little

Stuart McDougall, 42, of Victory Crescent, is a director of Asante Sana Foundation, which helps people in West Cumbria and abroad.

This is the charity’s latest project, and Stuart is working with the Meningitis Research Foundation.

He and a group of townsfolk, including Charlotte Sievewright and Paula Little, want to press the Government to introduce a vaccine.

The vaccine, Bexsero, was licensed last week and Stuart is working with the foundation to lobby the Government’s joint committee for vaccinations to add it to the childhood immunisation programme.

He has launched a petition and needs to collect more than 10,000 signatures by June, when the committee meets, to make a difference.

The petition has already been backed by Workington MP Sir Tony Cunningham, the outgoing director for public health Dr Nigel Calvert, Maryport’s Netherhall School, Workington Town Rugby Football Club and other schools across Cumbria.

Hundreds of people have signed the petition, with copies being available across Britain and even an English pub in Benidorm.

Charlotte, who works for the NHS, and Paula are helping Stuart administer the petition and make sure as many copies as possible are distributed.

Stuart said: “We have four months to collect as many signatures as possible. This is extremely important and it needs to be introduced as soon as possible.

Meningitis B is responsible for an average of 1,870 cases across the UK each year, mostly in young children.

Around one in 10 people affected will die, and a further one in 10 survivors will be left with serious after-effects, like limb amputations, deafness, blindness, and brain damage.

To request a paper copy, email info@asantesanafoundation.com

Or fill out and send the email version here

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