In Madagascar, a long-anticipated result has arrived: The World Health Organization’s validation survey shows the country has eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus. Newborns and mothers are now protected from the anguish of tetanus.
Kiwanis International President Gunter Gasser and a Kiwanis delegation saw the progress first-hand during a site visit to Madagascar last fall for The Eliminate Project.
“It gives me much joy knowing the families I met while in Madagascar will not have to suffer the terrible fate of MNT,” Gasser says. “I speak often about a little Malagasy girl that I met during November’s journey to Madagascar. She giggled the entire time we played. Her mother went to great lengths to make sure the little girl was protected from tetanus. I have much pride in the work of Kiwanis International knowing that girl will not have to watch family members or friends deal with the sadness and grief caused by MNT.”
Since 2000, UNICEF and its partners have eliminated the disease in 35 countries. It’s great progress—but 24 countries and millions of lives are still at risk.
“Thank you, Kiwanis, for continuing your extraordinary commitment to the mothers, babies and families served by The Eliminate Project,” says Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. “Progress is made possible by the passion and purpose you bring every day to this incredible project.”