Tetanus is an excruciating disease that killed approximately 85 babies each day in 2017, or one newborn every seventeen minutes. Typically contracted through unhygienic childbirth practices, the disease is swift, cruel and lethal.
But it is also highly preventable. An affordable vaccine given to women of childbearing age can stop tetanus.
Since 1999, UNICEF and its partners have immunized more than 154 million women in 53 countries, and have helped eliminated the disease in 46 countries. But maternal and neonatal tetanus remains a public health threat in 13 more. The women and newborns most at risk live in areas scarred by poverty, poor medical infrastructure or humanitarian crises.