The Ames Golden K Kiwanis Clubs is actively fundraising for The Eliminate Project. The Eliminate Project is a joint venture between Kiwanis and UNICEF with the goal of eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus. This global campaign will save or protect millions of mothers and babies. Tetanus can infect newborns, spreading quickly, causing terrible pain and killing within days. It’s a terrible disease, preventing even the comfort of a mother’s touch—but it’s highly preventable.
MNT is easily prevented by giving women of childbearing age a series of three vaccine doses, which costs roughly US$1.80. This cost includes vaccinations, syringes, safe storage, transportation and more. Kiwanis International is raising US$110 million by 2015, which will make Kiwanis the world’s largest single donor to MNT elimination efforts.
- Using the US$1.80 average, this US$110 million will ultimately protect at least 61 million women and their future babies.
- The Eliminate Project will do more than protect women and babies from tetanus. It will also create a path for other services, such as health education, clean water, nutrition and other vaccines.
- One newborn dies every nine minutes from tetanus. That is about 160 newborns each day.
- MNT results when tetanus spores, which are present in soil everywhere, enter the bloodstream. It is mainly caused by a lack of access to sanitary birthing conditions, unclean instruments used to cut the umbilical cord and unclean post-partum cord care.
- Once the disease is contracted, the fatality rate can be as high as 100 percent in underserved areas.
- Most mothers and newborns who die of tetanus live in areas of Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia, where many women are poor, have little access to health care, have limited information about safe delivery procedures and continue harmful cord care practices.
- If a woman is properly vaccinated against tetanus, she will have immunity through most of her childbearing years.
- Babies born to mothers who have been vaccinated are protected through the first two months of life.
Fundraising for The Eliminate Project will support UNICEF and its partners, which have already eliminated MNT in more than 20 countries. Kiwanis’ global volunteer network and strength in reaching communities and leaders, along with UNICEF’s field staff, technical expertise and unbeatable supply chain, will help eliminate this cruel, centuries-old disease and pave the way for other interventions.
For a January, 2014 Eliminate Project update, Click here.
To see how a motorcyclist crossed the 48 states raising funds for Project Eliminate, Click here.