WHO declares India free of Neonatal Tetanus

In yet another achievement, India was declared to be free of maternal and neonatal tetanus by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This dreaded disease has been one of the major killers of new born babies and mothers for long. In 1988, nearly 787,000 babies are known to have died with neonatal tetanus. 73% of the developing world’s deaths of neonatal tetanus occurred in 8 countries of which India contributed a large chunk. This bacterial infection affected the nervous system of babies and resulted in spasms and paralysis.
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Today India has been certified to be free of this dreaded disease. It is a bacterial disease which affects babies through unhygienic delivery practices. Unclean deliveries and dirty umbilical cord stumps are known to be grounds for developing neonatal tetanus. The Government has since taken immunisation of mothers during pregnancy as a top priority. All pregnant mothers compulsorily received two doses of the tetanus toxoid as a vaccine which prevented them from developing the infection.Further, clean practices during labour and deliveries has contributed to the reduction in the prevalence of this life threatening disease.
Today we can take pride is saying that India has been declared a neonatal tetanus free country. The efforts of the multitudes of health care workers has paid off and we are able to secure the future of our children. Let’s not forget the contribution of vaccines in India. Although there are many who undermine the importance of immunisation, let’s not fight them. We only need to do good work such as this and prove them wrong. Prove that we will do it to protect our children irrespective of their irrational views against vaccines.

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