ACT for Meningitis launches the app we all must have

Pictured is Alison Canavan, Mother and Health & Wellness Coach launching ACT for Meningitis’ international Lifesaving App with app creators Trevor Durity (l) and Victor Miko (r). The charity’s app allows parents and individuals to check the signs and symptoms of meningitis. Winter is the most high risk time during which people of all ages could contract the illness. The ACT for Meningitis Lifesaving App is available for both Android & iPhone. Photograph: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland

Pictured is Alison Canavan, Mother and Health & Wellness Coach launching ACT for Meningitis’ international Lifesaving App with app creators Trevor Durity (l) and Victor Miko (r). The charity’s app allows parents and individuals to check the signs and symptoms of meningitis. Winter is the most high risk time during which people of all ages could contract the illness. The ACT for Meningitis Lifesaving App is available for both Android & iPhone. Photograph: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland

ACT for Meningitis, the Irish national Meningitis Support and Awareness Charity, has launched a Free Life Saving App, which allows parents and individuals to check the signs and symptoms of Meningitis at the push of a button. The ACT for Meningitis Lifesaving App is available for download from both Google Play and Apple Store.

During the winter months there is an increased risk of individuals contracting meningitis. Ireland has the highest incidence of meningococcal disease in Europe with meningitis B accounting for the majority of these cases. One in ten people who contract meningitis will die and one in three will suffer long term effects. On average there are 200 cases of bacterial meningitis recorded nationally every year. In a survey conducted by the charity, results showed that 82 per cent of people questioned believed a rash was one of the first symptoms of Meningitis to look out for. This goes against the reality, as a rash appears in approximately 50 per cent of cases.

Speaking at the launch of the App, CEO of ACT for Meningitis Siobhan Carroll says “this is a very proud day for us at ACT for Meningitis. After losing our own daughter Aoibhe to meningitis when she was just four years old, we realised there was an essential need for people to have instant access to the signs and symptoms of meningitis and thanks to continuing advances in technology this is now possible. Anyone of any age can contract this disease and meningitis can kill in a very short time period, therefore we would urge every single person to download this App as knowing the signs and symptoms can save a life”.

Web development company Digilogue created the app completely free of charge for ACT for Meningitis. This extremely generous donation to the charity has saved ACT for Meningitis a cost of €7,000. Joining the charity to launch the App, director of Digilogue Trevor Durity says “we all know someone who has been affected by meningitis and how important it is to get information about this disease quickly. Digilogue are proud to have been in a position to help ACT for Meningitis build an App that offers access to this information which will hopefully be of help, averting potential tragedy in the future”.

ACT for Meningitis is based at 6a, Liosban Business Park, Tuam Rd, Galway and can be contacted at (091 ) 380058 and by email at [email protected]. For further information visit www.actformeningitis.ie On the second of April 2008 Siobhan and Noel’s lives changed forever when they lost their beautiful daughter. Their eldest child Aoibhe – who had turned four in January – woke up in the middle of the night with vomiting and diarrhea. Noel was at home alone with Aoibhe and her brother Eimhin, as Siobhan, who was pregnant with their third child, was in hospital for overnight observation.

Noel comforted Aoibhe, changed her and when she fell asleep again, tucked her back up in bed. However Aoibhe got sick again later in the night, forcing Noel to call the doctor, who said it sounded like Aoibhe had a vomiting bug. Her condition deteriorated and at around 5am, Aoibhe turn a turn for the worst. Noel immediately rang an ambulance which rushed Aoibhe into hospital but unfortunately it was too late. Aoibhe died within an hour as a result of an aggressive strain of meningitis. Four weeks after Aoibhe died, Siobhan gave birth to their son, Noah, and their youngest child, Sophie, was born in December 2009.

Siobhan and Noel, both natives of Galway city, were heartbroken and wanted to do everything they could to prevent another family going through the horror they did. They quickly immersed themselves in raising awareness of meningitis, its signs and symptoms. Overwhelmed by the support received for every fundraiser and awareness campaign they held, Siobhan and Noel decided to set-up ACT for Meningitis.

ACT stands for both the Aoibhe Carroll Trust, and also represents the three key messages Siobhan and Noel want to get across in relation to meningitis - The ‘A’ standing for ‘Ask’, ask yourself could it be meningitis; the ‘C’ standing for contact your doctor; and the most importantly ‘T’, trust your instincts. Focused solely on awareness, the foundation is intent on educating people about the dangers and symptoms of the disease. The charity is now working towards the goal of building Aoibhe’s House, a support centre which will provide services to those bereaved and recovering from meningitis.

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