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Kiwanis + Unicef 

Through The Eliminate Project, Kiwanis International and UNICEF have joined forces to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus—a deadly disease that steals the lives of 34,000 innocent babies and a significant number of women each year.

UNICEF and its partners have combated maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) across the globe through education, outreach, and mass immunization drives. In addition to delivering tetanus vaccines to even the remotest areas by any means necessary — including on horseback and even on foot — UNICEF has trained traditional midwives and birth attendants in safe birthing practices and distributed safe birthing kits. To help stem the tide of MNT, UNICEF has also supported prenatal care and a wide range of other maternal and newborn health services.

Since 1999, UNICEF and its partners have immunized nearly 100 million women with two or more doses of the vaccine and eliminated the disease in 45 countries. Countries that have validated the elimination of MNT include Sierra Leone, Gabon, Laos and Madagascar. MNT still remains a deadly threat in 14 countries. 

The Challenge

Maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) is a swift and painful killer disease that killed 34,000 newborns in 2015 alone. A significant number of women also die to due to maternal tetanus every year.

Maternal and neonatal tetanus represents a very high proportion of the total tetanus disease burden due mainly to inadequate immunization services, limited or absent clean delivery services and improper post-partum cord care. The majority of mothers and newborns dying of tetanus live in Africa and Southern and East Asia, generally in areas where women are poor, have little access to health care, and have little information about safe delivery practices.

Once the disease is contracted, the fatality rate can be as high as 100% without hospital care and between 10% to 60% with hospital care. The true extent of the tetanus death toll is not known as many newborns and mothers die at home and neither the birth nor the death is reported.

Through The Eliminate Project, Kiwanis I

The Solution

Maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) is easily preventable through:

  • immunization of women with TT vaccine for protection against Tetanus – a child born to a woman protected against tetanus is also protected from the disease in the first few months of its life

  • hygienic birth practices to ensure infection is not contracted by mother or newborn during the birth process

  • proper cord care to ensure that contamination of cord does not put the newborn at risk

MNT Elimination Initiative 

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MNT elimination in a country is defined as neonatal tetanus rate of less than one case of neonatal tetanus per 1000 live births in every district of the country. UNICEF and WHO’s role in this global effort is:

  • To advocate with partners including the national governments to commit to the goal of MNT elimination and support it through allocation of needed resources

  • To fund raise for the initiative to meet the gaps in funding needs  for the target countries

  • To support national ministries of health in preparing technically and financially sound plan

  • To procure and deliver the TT vaccines and injections supplies for the campaigns and ensure cold chain maintenance

  • To provide technical assistance for implementation of high quality campaigns

  • To monitor progress towards MNT elimination

  • To validate (usually through community based mortality surveys) if elimination level has been reached in a country following the country’s claim of elimination.

  • To work with countries on strategies for maintaining MNT elimination including strengthening of routine immunization

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What if You Could Save a Baby's Life?

There are few events more joyful than the day a new baby is welcomed to the world. But in 15 countries, a dreaded disease quickly turns that joy into tragedy.

Maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) kills one baby every fifteen minutes — that's 34,000 babies every year who will never grow up, make their mothers laugh, play with friends or dream about the future. The effects of the disease are excruciating — tiny newborns suffer repeated, painful convulsions and extreme sensitivity to light and touch. A significant number of women die from MNT each year too.

We Did It - Progress Towards Our Goal

The Greater Randolph Area Kiwanis are proud to announce that we have met our goal as a Model Club for the Eliminate Project as of October 2018 raising over $20,250 in the past five years. However, through the K-Dollar Initiative that Daisy Richardson started in our club, in which we collect $1, $5, $10, $100 bills series 'K', we will continue to collect money and further our donation to ensure that MNT is totally eliminated from the world. And we ask that you help us in our intiative by donating at one of our meetings or using the donation button at the top of the page.

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