Maternal/Neonatal Tetanus Also Known as MNT

What is Tetanus

1. Tetanus bacteria (clostridium tatani) and their spores live in the soil
2. Objects, instruments and hands come into contact with the bacteria.
3. An attendant assists a baby's birth without proper healthcare education and with inadequate hygiene (unclean hands or instruments).
4.The bacteria multiply and produce a deadly toxin that attaches to nerves around a wound area.
5. The nerves carry the toxin to the brain and/or spinal cord.
6. Tetanus interfers with motor nerves that send messages to muscles
7. Symptoms include severe muscle rigidity, painful convulsions and extreme sensitivity to light, sound and touch.
8. The baby's mother watches helplessly, unable to touch her child.
9. In the absense of treatment, within days, the baby dies.

In Sierra Leone, 19-year-old Memunata gives birth to a healthy baby girl. But this joyous event has taken place on the floor of her home. And Memunata’s childbirth has been assisted by a traditional but unskilled birth attendant. In fact, Memunata herself hasn’t been fully immunized against tetanus. The umbilical cord is cut with an unclean blade. Deadly tetanus spores, found in soil everywhere, infect the cord. Within days, tetanus has spread throughout the baby’s body, causing muscle rigidity leading to locked jaw, arched spine, convulsions and difficult breathing. The slightest sound, light or touch triggers painful spasms—robbing Memunata of the chance to provide even the comfort of a mother’s embrace. After a few days, the baby dies. Memunata is helpless. All she can do is watch. Every year, thousands of mothers share this pain. Thousands of babies will never laugh or play or dream about the future—or experience the bond between mother and child. We have a chance to protect those lives … and protect that crucial connection

The Facts

• 1 baby dies every 9 minutes from tetanus
• 160 babies die each day from tetanus
• MNT has been eliminated in 20 countries since 2000
• 3 doses of tetanus vaccine = immunity from tetanus
• Woman + vaccine = protected baby
• US$ 1.80 protects 1 mother and her future children
• The Eliminate Project saves & protects millions of moms & babies.
• Elimination = <1 case of MNT per 1,000 live births

How can you help?

• Join a local Kiwanis Club and advocate for Project Eliminate
• Donate to your local Kiwanis Club In Care of Project Eliminate
• Donate online at Officlal Project Website
• Or go to the Delta-Antioch Kiwanis Donation page