Tetanus is an excruciating disease that kills tens of thousands of infants each year. Typically contracted through unhygienic childbirth practices, the disease known as maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) is swift, cruel and lethal.
But tetanus is also highly preventable. Through an affordable vaccine, women of childbearing age can stop tetanus.
For more than two decades, UNICEF and its partners have immunized millions of women all over the globe, and they have helped eradicate the disease in some four dozen countries, most recently Ethiopia, Haiti, the Philippines, Kenya, Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Since 2010, UNICEF has paired up with Kiwanis International in a historic initiative called The Eliminate Project, which aims to stop tetanus while providing other lifesaving services, including clean water, nutrition and other vaccines.
But maternal and neonatal tetanus remains a public health threat in many countries. The women and newborns who are most at risk live in areas scarred by poverty, poor medical infrastructure or humanitarian crises.