Group B Strep is the most common cause of serious infection in newborn babies in the UK, and the leading cause of neonatal sepsis and meningitis.
As part of July’s Group B Strep Awareness Month, the Group B Strep Support charity are challenging MPs to walk 62,000 steps between Monday 1 July and 15 July 2019, that's 1,000 steps for every baby who will develop a group B Strep infection this July (and 4,429 steps each day).
Commenting the MP for Eastleigh and Sports Minister Mims Davies said:
“Group B Strep infection can have a life changing impact which effects at least two babies every day in the UK, including impacting upon families in my Eastleigh constituency, yet there are so many people who don’t know how common it is.
“Having worked so closely with Jane Plumb MBE and the whole team from Group B Strep Support, raised this matter with Ministers, with key stakeholders as well as in the Commons chamber, I was absolutely delighted when in May this year it was announced that group B Strep is going to be tested for more widely as part of the GBS3 clinical trial, with 80 hospitals across England, Wales and Scotland taking part.
“Nevertheless, I recognise that the job in relation to this issue is far from over, and that is why I am so pleased – especially as the Sports Minister, so I’m hoping this won’t be too challenging! – to support the ‘Steps against Strep’ fundraising campaign, and I absolutely urge my colleagues across Parliament to join me in taking part!”
Also commenting, Jane Plumb MBE, Chief Executive and Founder of Group B Strep Support said:
“We’re delighted to have Sports Minister Mims Davies’ support for our ‘Steps against Strep’ campaign, which combines vital fundraising in aid of our life-saving work, with an opportunity for people to keep active.
“Two babies a day in the UK develop group B Strep infection and 62 babies will do so during July. Too many people don’t know about group B Strep, yet it’s the most common cause of serious infection in newborn babies in the UK.
“For more information about Group B Strep, please visit our website at www.gbss.org.uk”
Iwan Thomas MBE, Olympic Sprinter whose son Teddy developed group B Strep infection shortly after birth said:
“My little boy Teddy was seriously ill with group B Strep infection when he was born, but fortunately seems to have made a fantastic recovery. I know not all families are as lucky as me, and that’s why I’m encouraging everyone to get involved in the Steps against Strep challenge to raise funds and awareness for Group B Strep Support.”