Tetanus now only affects the poorest most remote communities, and is referred to as stiff neck in Ethiopia. Traditional medical practices in remote tribes put infants at risk of infection; tetanus recognizes nerves, and travel from the infection site to the spinal cord.
Francois Gasse of UNICEF explains all women must be immunized during pregnancy in order to pass immunity onto their child. Newway Meshesha, a nurse at a remote health center, must maintain the cold chain while transporting the vaccines, but new Uniject technology may make the vaccine more available.
Tetanus is a disease which can be eliminated with proper education and vaccine distribution. Health professionals and volunteers give Uniject treatment, vitamin A supplements, and deworming tablets to villagers as part of an immunization campaign.
Credits: The Infant Curse
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Every year thousands of babies die from a disease that strikes in the very first days or hours of life. Today tetanus affects only the world’s poorest and most remote communities—but it still claims the lives of about 150,000 babies every year. Poor hygiene and cultural traditions—like rubbing a mixture of soil and butter on a newly cut umbilical cord—gives the deadly bacteria the perfect opportunity to breed. We travel to Ethiopia where 14,000 babies die from tetanus every year.
Length: 22 minutes
Copyright date: ©2008
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