Neonatal Tetanus: A Preventable Tragedy in Nigeria

A traditional post-natal practice in parts of Nigeria—pressing a napkin heated on a lantern on the umbilical cord until it falls off—is one reason Nigeria still struggles with preventable neonatal tetanus.
 
The problem is that sometimes the lanterns are rusted, and the napkins not handled hygienically—exposing newborns to Clostridium tetani bacteria.
 
The disease is also preventable by immunizations. Yet Nigeria is one of 18 countries yet to eliminate neonatal tetanus, according to the WHO—in part because rural mothers especially do not receive such vaccines during pregnancy, or have access to antenatal care.
 
Premium Times (Nigeria)

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