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Novartis AG (NVS) And Anne Geddes Launch Global Ebook Showcasing Meningococcal Survivors On World Meningitis Day

4/24/2014 8:44:49 AM

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, April 24, 2014 /CNW/ - To mark World Meningitis Day, world-renowned photographer and children's advocate Anne Geddes today released her latest photo book Protecting Our Tomorrows: Portraits of Meningococcal Diseasein Toronto. Protecting Our Tomorrows: Portraits of Meningococcal Disease is a collection of inspirational images of 15 meningococcal disease survivors to convey the sudden and profound effect the disease can have on young lives. This new eBook is available for free download exclusively on iBooks®, in honor of the sixth annual World Meningitis Day, at the following link:

"Through a series of what I believe are inspirational photographs of meningococcal disease survivors and families impacted by the disease, this project celebrates the survivors' triumphs and honors those who've tragically lost their lives," said Ms. Geddes. "Over my 30-year career, there is not one parent I have worked with who doesn't love their children, want to nurture their children and protect their children. Through these images, I hope parents feel empowered to understand the disease's impact and know the options available to them."

The image collection was created in partnership with Novartis Vaccines and the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO) to help increase public awareness of the impact of meningococcal disease on World Meningitis Day. This global project brought together 15 survivors ranging in ages from nine months to 25 years from countries around the world, including Canada, Australia, Germany, Ireland, Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil and the United States.

"Symptoms of meningococcal disease are not specific and often resemble the flu making the disease initially misdiagnosed in its early stages," said Dr. Ronald Gold, member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of CoMO. "The disease can progress rapidly and the consequences are often devastating. The best protection against meningitis infection is vaccination."

Though rare between 1998 and 2007, meningococcal disease affected about 224 Canadians every year1. It is an unpredictable disease that comes on suddenly and can lead to death within 24 to 48 hours of onset2. Even with appropriate treatment, 10 to 14 per cent of patients die and up to one in five survivors will suffer life-long devastating complications, such as neurological disabilities, hearing loss or limb loss2.

"It's important for parents to speak to their paediatrician so they know the signs of meningitis and can look for them in their child," said Furakh Mir, founder of Meningitis Relief Canada. "Through this project, we hope parents will feel empowered to ask questions about the threat of this disease and how they can help protect their children through vaccination."

Protecting Our Tomorrows: Portraits of Meningococcal Disease can be downloaded for free from the iTunes store More information about the project is available at

About Novartis
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., a leader in the healthcare field, is committed to the discovery, development and marketing of innovative products to improve the well-being of all Canadians. In 2012, the company invested close to $100 million in research and development in Canada. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. employs more than 600 people in Canada. For further information, please consult

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. is a subsidiary of Novartis AG, which provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group of Companies offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines and diagnostic tools, over-the-counter and animal health products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2013, the Group achieved net sales of USD 57.9 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.9 billion (USD 9.6 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 136,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world.

For more information, please visit



National Advisory Committee on Immunization. Update on the use of Quadrivalent Conjugate Meningococcal Vaccines. Canada Communicable Disease Report. January 2013; Vol. 39, ACS-1: 1-40.


Harrison L, A new era in adolescent immunization. Available at: Accessed on April 4, 2014.

SOURCE Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.

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