Southeast Asian countries eliminate maternal, neonatal tetanus

New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday said that all its member countries in the Southeast Asian region have eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus.

According to the organisation, 11 of its member countries in the Southeast Asian region have reduced the cases to less than one per 1,000 live births.

“Maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination (MNTE) for the region became official after a team of experts today successfully validated the remaining four provinces of Indonesia, the last pocket in the region to achieve the target; after India reached the MNTE goal last year,” said a statement from WHO.

Poonam Singh Khetrapal, Regional Director for Southeast Asian region, said: “The achievement demonstrates the commitment of countries in the region to improve maternal and child health, especially neonatal health.”

“Persistent efforts and innovative approaches to enhance tetanus vaccination coverage of pregnant women and children, increase skilled birth attendance and promote clean cord practices made MNTE a reality,” she said.

Partner organizations such as UNICEF, UNFPA, community-based organizations and other stakeholders played a critical role in the success.



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