News

Urgent needs in the fight against MNT

Jun 12, 2019

© UNICEF_UN0270174_Knowles-CourWe’ve made great progress against MNT. Since The Eliminate Project began in 2010, 26 countries have eliminated the disease — and the number of babies dying annually from tetanus has been nearly cut in half.

But families in 13 countries still need us. Today alone, 85 babies will die of tetanus. They are relying on us to make gifts and fulfill our pledges to do life-saving work.

The following countries urgently need funding and support from Kiwanis and UNICEF in the coming weeks to carry out immunization activities. With appropriate funding, UNICEF will reach almost 16 million women of reproductive age.

Nigeria

Nigeria continues to make steady progress against MNT, especially in the south. The South East and South West zones are MNT-free, and the South-South zone will conduct its last round of immunizations in October. Now the focus shifts to the North, where protracted violence has left 1.9 million people displaced. Fortunately, MNT elimination remains a government priority. The North Central and North West zones will begin immunization campaigns in July 2019, and the North East zone will begin in February 2020.

Pakistan

Even with a health system disrupted by years of conflict, and competing health priorities such as polio, Pakistan has sustained its momentum toward MNT elimination. The Punjab Province, the largest in the nation, is MNT-free. The five remaining provinces have begun planning their vaccination campaigns. With appropriate funding, these campaigns can reach almost 7 million women of reproductive age.

South Sudan

South Sudan has been mired in civil war for years, with millions of South Sudanese seeking refuge in neighboring countries. In September 2018, a peace agreement formally put an end to the conflict and revived what had been a stagnant immunization program. Following an MNT risk assessment conducted earlier this year, South Sudan will begin immunization campaigns this summer, with hopes of reaching more than 1 million women at high risk of MNT.

In each of these countries, moms and babies are at risk of contracting this deadly disease. But we can protect them. With appropriate funding, UNICEF can reach and protect nearly 16 million women of reproductive age by the end of June. Your gifts help. Protect a life today.