Maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) elimination update
1 November 2012 - With the recent validation of maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination in China, a total of 28 countries have achieved elimination since 2000 when the goal was reaffirmed by WHO, the United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). At that time maternal tetanus was added to recognize that tetanus threatens mothers as well as newborns and that elimination of tetanus benefits them equally. In addition, to the 28 countries that have achieved elimination, 15 of 35 states in India and 29 of 33 provinces in Indonesia have also achieved the goal since 2000. There are 31 countries remaining to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus. In the Western Pacific Region only Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines have not yet validated elimination.
Maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination is now also a priority in the “action agenda” of the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The agenda describes specific measures, including an unprecedented campaign to wipe out five of the world’s major killers – maternal and neonatal tetanus, polio, measles, malaria and paediatric HIV.