23 Feb UNICEF and partners focus on underserved to eliminate MNT
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
NEW YORK, 22 February 2011 – Despite an estimated 90 per cent decline in global maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) deaths over the last two decades, a newborn child still dies every nine minutes from the disease, according to the latest available figures. While MNT deaths have dropped globally from an estimated 800,000 in the late 1980s to 59,000 in 2008, the deaths that still occur are disproportionately concentrated among poor, uneducated and neglected populations.
UNICEF and other global MNT partners are gathering today in New York for a two-day meeting to discuss strategies to address the inequity in MNT mortality and for reaching communities where tetanus remains a public health problem. Because many MNT deaths occur at home and in underserved communities, they go unreported, masking the true extent of the death toll.