In more than 30 countries around the world, maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) can quickly turn the joy of childbirth into tragedy.
MNT kills one baby every nine minutes. It is caused when tetanus spores come into contact with open cuts during childbirth or through infection of the unhealed umbilical stump, particularly when the stump is cut with a non-sterile instrument.
Tetanus often begins with mild spasms in the jaw muscles, hence the common name – lockjaw. The muscle spasms eventually affect the chest, neck, back, and abdominal muscles. Prolonged muscular action causes sudden, powerful, and painful contractions of muscle groups which can cause bone fractures and muscle tears. Its effects are excruciating – newborns suffer repeated, painful convulsions and extreme sensitivity to light and touch. Death from tetanus is among the most painful known.
Our global campaign to eliminate this disease is called the Eliminate Project, a partnership between Kiwanis and UNICEF. Kiwanis Clubs around the world are united by the Eliminate Project to make a positive difference in the world. We are committed to raising $110 million worldwide by 2015 to help provide the vaccine needed to prevent this tragedy from continuing. Each $1.80 we raise – the cost of a large coffee – provides the vaccine needed for one women of childbearing age, which will not only protect her but also her future babies. For more information on this critical project, click the logo above.
Northwest Kiwanis is committed to being a leader in the campaign to eliminate MNT, meaning we are committed to:
Since the start of the campaign in 2011, our Club and club members have donated enough money to vaccinate almost 6,000 young women. We have done this through the generosity and commitment of our members and the support of our friends in the community. Northwest Kiwanis will continue to be a leader in the Eliminate Project throughout the campaign.
Please consider helping us change the world by making a donation by clicking on the logo in the side bar at left.