Unicef working to eliminate maternal and newborn tetanus in Haiti

Ministry of Public Health and Population's Campaign to Eliminate Tetanus


Ministry of Public Health and Population (MPHP), with the support of UNICEF, has a goal of stamping out maternal and neonatal tetanus in Haiti within two years. Tetanus is a deadly disease that leads to death for many newborns. This year's campaign is aimed at 65 communes with a high-risk potential. Among the at-risk communes is Milford in the South-East Department. A statistic reveals almost 50% of tetanus cases happen in Haiti across the Caribbean region.

The problem with getting communes in the South-East Department vaccinated is they are remote. One of the communes, Milford, is difficult to access because the road leading to Milford from Jacmel hugs the side of a mountain, a three-hour drive and six-hour walk. Those on foot labor under brutal climatic conditions, a broiling sun and continuous high winds. Vaccinators endure these elements because women will not undertake the journey to come and get vaccinated.

In Milford some women are fortunate because they live close to the vaccination center. But others trek over two hours. More than one vaccination is necessary to protect them and their newborns, but frequently because of obstacles, traveling to Milford discourages them from receiving necessary rounds of tetanus to afford them protection.

MPHP has been successful in reaching every metro area in the South-East Department, 100% of targeted areas during initial phases of the campaign. MPHP is visiting 65 high-risk communes this year. The goal for 2015 is to visit the remaining 75.

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Read more: Health, Unicef, Tetanus, Health

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