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Ethiopia: 42nd country to eliminate MNT

Jul 19, 2017

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This month, Ethiopia became the 42nd country to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus since 2000, thanks to Kiwanians and our partnership with UNICEF through The Eliminate Project. Now, this excruciating, but preventable disease will not be a threat to mothers and babies in Ethiopia.

Immunizing women and babies in Ethiopia has been a challenging journey, especially in the Somali region, where many remote villages are located. This region was the last and most challenging province for immunizing. The Somali region also has struggled with long droughts, making remote areas even more difficult for UNICEF health workers to reach.

UNICEF Representative Shalini Bahuguna credits completion of the last leg of this journey to the local government of Somali for its “leadership, persistence and wide partnerships.” Ethiopia’s State Minister of Health, Dr. Kebede Worku, also shared that Ethiopia will “integrate maternal and child health services with other public health priorities,” ensuring that Ethiopia sustains MNT elimination.

Ethiopia’s new status comes after a long validation process by health officials. It includes a review of the nation’s community health programs and practices and collecting survey data on women and children to ensure that MNT is no longer a threat.

Because of your help, mothers and babies no longer are at risk of contracting maternal and neonatal tetanus. Today, only 17 countries remain affected by MNT. We are so close to eliminating this disease from the globe, but we can only get there with Kiwanians’ support.