Viet Nam's Ministry of Health has eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus, with support from WHO and UNICEF.
Maternal and neonatal tetanus is a disease that kills tens of thousands of newborns each year, most of them in developing countries. The disease is often called the "silent killer" because many newborns affected by it die at home in very remote and poor communities where both the births and the deaths go unreported. Viet Nam's Ministry of Health has eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus, with support from WHO and UNICEF. A survey conducted by UNICEF, WHO and the Government of Viet Nam in three of Viet Nam's disadvantaged districts - Bao Yen and Bao Thang in Lao Cai Province, and Phuoc Long in Binh Phuoc Province - showed less than one neonatal tetanus death per 1000 live births in 2005. In the 1980s, some 20,000 Vietnamese babies died annually of tetanus before the age of one month. Since 1991, pregnant women have been vaccinated throughout Viet Nam through its Expanded Programme on Immunization, resulting in a high vaccination coverage rate. Viet Nam is the ninth country in the world, and the first East Asian country, within a priority group of 58 countries that has eliminated these diseases.
Through community outreach, supervision, training, and data collection and monitoring, massive immunization campaigns have reached vast numbers of children.
In South Asia, the Reaching Every District strategy continues to play a central role in improving children's survival rates through increased nationwide use of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccines. Through community outreach, supervision, training, and data collection and monitoring, massive immunization campaigns have reached vast numbers of children. UNICEF has helped Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan train female volunteers to administer polio vaccines and promote immunization against maternal and child tetanus. In Afghanistan, for example, more than one million children under age five were vaccinated against measles, and more than 700,000 women of childbearing age received tetanus vaccines during 2006 under a comprehensive immunization campaign led by the local Ministry of Health. The same year, Bangladesh, with support from UNICEF and WHO, conducted the world's largest ever measles eradication campaign in just 20 days, vaccinating 33.5 million children between the ages of nine months and 10 years. Endemic countries such as Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan have reduced the spread and geographical radius of polio through coordinated campaigns.
Last updated 1 November 2007