For less than two dollars, a woman and her future newborns can be protected against tetanus, a deadly but easily preventable disease.
Why we care: Maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) can quickly turn the joy of childbirth into tragedy - one baby dies almost every nine minutes from tetanus.
How we’re solving this: Immunizing women of reproductive age against tetanus, along with providing health education, can virtually eliminate MNT.
MNT remains endemic in many countries, mostly in Africa and Asia, and over 100 million women remain at high risk due to lack of access to health care. The goal of the initiative is to eliminate MNT by focusing on delivery of the tetanus toxoid vaccine.
A series of three tetanus toxoid immunizations costing just $1.80 can protect a woman and her babies that are born after she is immunized. This small sum also funds injection supplies, planning, training for health workers, education about safe birthing practices, transportation, and more.
As of January 1, 2014, 34 countries have eliminated MNT – more than half of the original priority countries. Among the countries that have most recently eliminated the disease are: Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Tanzania, East Timor, China, Cameroon, Iraq, Côte D’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Gabon, and Laos. Progress is clearly being made, but we have a long way to go.
A functioning 'cold chain' is key to getting vaccines to the hardest to reach women and children. High temperatures, scarce resources, unreliable electricity, and long distances between health care facilities can break the chain, resulting in women and children who are not protected from deadly diseases.
MNT remains a lethal threat in 25 countries. Together, with your support, let’s help ensure it’s eliminated across the globe by the end of 2015.