They have undertaken a range of activities to increase awareness of meningitis amongst their students, helping to protect them from the disease.
All 28,963 students were emailed, and advised to get the ACWY vaccination if they had not received it already. The email clarified that the vaccination is free for those under 25 and going to university for the first time, and was sent from the university’s academic registrar to reinforce the importance of the message.
Information was also put on the student website homepage, so each time students logged in they would see a message reminding them about registering with a GP and getting their ACWY vaccination.
The university also displayed information on TV screens throughout the campus, student union and accommodation, with signs and symptoms information and a personal story of meningitis being played throughout the day.
Posters, leaflets and signs and symptoms cards were distributed throughout the university including; the student support building, every bedroom and communal area in their halls of residence, and the student union. Staff also held an awareness event at the library, handing out signs and symptoms cards and answering questions from students.
A focused approach was also taken to the university’s international student population, who often hold what staff at the university described as; ‘an incorrect, culturally-based view, that they are immune to meningitis’. Every international student from outside of the EU (approximately 9000 students) were sent a specific email advising them that they are not immune to meningitis, and encouraging them to get the ACWY vaccine.
Newcastle University also reviewed and updated their Meningococcal Infection Policy, and ensured that all staff first aid and health & safety training included information about the signs and symptoms of meningitis.
To make sure that students definitely saw and took notice of meningitis information, the university made it compulsory for all students moving into halls of residence to read the meningitis leaflet before they signed their accommodation contract.
This great example from Newcastle University demonstrates the fantastic work that our MARM accredited universities do in raising awareness of meningitis amongst the second highest at-risk group, students.
If you’re a student, member of staff, parent, or just live nearby; why not check if your local university has registered for our Meningitis Aware Recognition Mark – you could just help to save a life.