As part of National Meningococcal Day on Friday, August 30, 304 early childhood education centres and kindergartens across WA will be provided with educational resources on how to prevent against the disease and its symptoms.
The program, known as Kiddy Canter teaches children aged two to five, about good hygiene practices ” a main defence against meningococcal.
It is one of the many initiatives developed through the Amanda Young Foundation, which is dedicated to providing support, raising awareness and reducing deaths caused by meningococcal disease.
Lorraine and Barry Young started the Foundation a year after UWA student Amanda died.
‘We never knew anything about the disease until Amanda contracted it. My wife Lorraine was determined we should do something about it,’ Mr Young said.
Since 1998, the Foundation has had three main objectives ” to raise awareness, promote youth leadership and fund research into the disease.
The Foundation has grown to the point where Mr and Mrs Young are constantly kept busy handling queries, organising conferences with health professionals, holding charity balls and opening Amanda’s Garden for the annual Fete in October.
In 2003 a vaccine against meningococcus C was introduced to Australia and put on the national health scheme. It has been incredibly effective.
A meningococcal B vaccine has been approved recently for use and is expected to be available by the end of the year.