TechNet-21 - Forum

  1. Global Immunization Newsletter
  2. Programme management
  3. Wednesday, 02 November 2022


On 17 October 2020, a 9th grade student at Aisha school in Al-Mukalla, Yemen, receives immunization during the MNTE campaign (Credit: UNICEF)In a new push, UNICEF is calling for joint and targeted efforts to provide vaccination to over 32 million women at the 12 most-at-risk countries and protect them and their new
-borns from potentially fatal maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT).

Geospatial mapping of 24,000 of neonatal deaths (babies <28 -days-old) due to tetanus in 2020, demonstrated that almost all of these vaccine-preventable deaths took place in 12 priority countries where MNT is not yet eliminated. Precision targeting to vaccinate women of reproductive age in the 12 identified countries high-risk districts could propel the world towards eliminating MNT for good.

“It’s a goal well within our reach,” said Ephrem Tekle Lemango, UNICEF Associate Director and Chief of Immunization. “A final concerted joint push in just 12 countries is the need of the hour to save mothers and newborns from this completely preventable yet fatal disease.” 

Approximately 2.5 million neonatal deaths occur annually, accounting for 47% of all under 5 mortality cases. Most deaths take place in Low- and Middle-Income Countries and mostly happen before infants receive any qualified medical help.

UNICEF’s work on the ground has been supported by donors, including Latter-day Saint Charities (LDSC), Kiwanis, Pampers (P&G), USAID and the Canadian government.

The UN’s children agency is calling for interventions to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus to be scaled up, which would to save approximately 323, 903 neonatal lives from tetanus, along with 28,045 maternal lives from sepsis.


Photo: On 17 October 2020, a 9th grade student at Aisha school in Al-Mukalla, Yemen, receives immunization during the MNTE campaign (Credit: UNICEF)

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