A partnership that’s working: Celebrating nine years of results and counting from UNICEF and Pampers’ One-For-One

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tetanus, a swift and painful killer, comes from bacteria that live in soil, which can enter the body through deep, open wounds. Untreated tetanus infections produce intense muscle spasms that prevent breathing, often leading to death.

Unvaccinated mothers and their newborns are at highest risk for tetanus infections, caused by unhygienic birth practices such as cutting the umbilical cord with un-sterile instruments, or applying contaminated substances to the umbilical stump.

Poorer families bear the greatest burden of newborn deaths to tetanus. Despite being entirely preventable, neonatal tetanus remains a problem in nearly 25 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

UNICEF and Pampers recently celebrated a ground-breaking partnership to eliminate maternal and newborn tetanus (MNT), which still claims the lives of 58,000 newborns every year—down from 200,000 newborn deaths a year in 2000.

MNT is prevented through vaccination and clean birth practices. Mothers who receive at least three doses of the vaccine are immunized against the disease for ten years and pass on this immunity to their babies during pregnancy.

Pampers (P&G) and UNICEF have helped provide 300 million doses of the tetanus vaccine to millions of women and their newborns. This work has contributed to eliminating the disease in 14 countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Lao PDR Liberia, Myanmar, Senegal, Tanzania, Timor Leste, Sierra Leone and Uganda.

Source: PSI Impact (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
public health