Tetanus in focus until ’14

National, Normal

The National, Monday 3rd June 2013


HEALTH authorities are calling for a national effort from its partners to achieve its target of 100% coverage in the tetanus toxoid (TT) vaccination round three which begins in two weeks.

In a briefing in Port Moresby last Thursday, technical officers from the Department of Health, World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) discussed with media how best the media could advocate the importance of the vaccination. 

The exercise is part of the government’s commitment to address maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination by the end of 2014 in partnership with the WHO and Unicef, under the theme Rausim Sik Tetanus – a call to action for the children and women of Papua New Guinea.

The department responded with a nationwide supplementary immunisation with three doses of TT vaccine. 

The first round took place in April-May last year  followed by the October-December round and the third and final round will from June 17 to July 26. 

Tetanus appears in newborns as early as the third day after birth.

During delivery a mother could get infected with tetanus as a result of unclean delivery practice.

The best prevention for tetanus is a series of TT vaccinations. 

Women who are fully immunised with TT would have long term protection against tetanus and would pass that protection to the newborn children at the time of birth.