Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Eliminated in the Americas

Infant receiving immunization, Haiti16 countries: Afghanistan, Angola, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo DR, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, South, Sudan, and Yemen.

Since 1989 the WHO has identified elimination of MNT as a goal, with the first target of global elimination being set for 1995. As the strategies identified to make MNT elimination a reality have proven difficult to implement, the target date for elimination has been extended several times. Still, the progress has been enormous: in 1988, the WHO estimated that 787,000 newborns died of tetanus; that number was reduced to about 34,000 in 2015, the last year for which the estimate is available. Most cases of neonatal tetanus are fatal, and so the estimated number of cases of the disease in neonates is likely to be close to the number of deaths. The WHO South-east Asian Region eliminated MNT in 2016 and the European Region in 2009.

Tetanus outside maternity and the neonatal period still occurs: the WHO has reported that in 2011, the estimated deaths from tetanus in all stages of life numbered about 73,000.

Sources

UNICEF. Region of the Americas eliminates maternal and neonatal tetanus. Press release. Septemver 21, 2017. Accessed September 28, 2017.

WHO, Region of Africa. Maternal and neonatal tetanus. No date. Accessed September 28, 2017.

WHO. Maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination: the initiative and challenges. August 1, 2017. Accessed September 28, 2017.

WHO. Maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination: the partnership. August 1, 2017. Accessed September 28, 2017.

WHO. WHO South-east Asia Region eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus. May 19, 2016. Accessed September 28, 2017.