Note to editors:
Dr. Brian Greenwood, the 2012 Canada Gairdner Global Health Laureate, will give a talk on Monday, Oct. 15, at 1:30 p.m. on epidemic meningitis in Africa. The talk takes place in the main auditorium of the Faculty of Medicine, Health Sciences Centre, St. Johns.
Meningitis, pneumonia, and malaria cyclical diseases dictated by seasonal weather patterns are some of the most prominent causes of mortality in young children throughout the developing world, especially in Africa.
After identifying early in his career that meningitis and pneumonia were significant causes of childhood deaths in Africa, Dr. Greenwood evaluated two groups of vaccines to prevent these diseases, and proved Haemophilus and Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines were highly effective in reducing meningitis and pneumonia in African children. In addition, he showed how deaths from malaria can be prevented using insecticide-treated bed nets and antimalarial drugs given during the rainy season.
Dr. Greenwood and his colleagues at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, U.K., proved that insecticide-treated bed nets and preventive treatment reduced child mortality by a third. He also showed that vaccinations were highly effective against meningitis and pneumonia. His research has contributed to several policy recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO) and he is considered by many as the leading figure in international health and tropical medicine.