Kenya will receive a certification for Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination (MNTE) from the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday (tomorrow) in a ceremony set to be hosted at Nairobi’s Safari Park Hotel.
This comes after Kenya successfully passed a pre-validation assessment done in 2017 by the Ministry of Health with support from the WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). After acing the pre-validation assessment, a survey was done in Narok County in March 2018 to confirm the absence of neonatal deaths caused by tetanus in the region.
Narok County was selected for the survey because it was implied to be the region at highest risk of neonatal tetanus deaths due to its poor vaccination practices. Results from the survey, conducted on 10,366 households in the region suggested that less than one neonatal tetanus case in 1000 live births was found which mirrored the MNTE validation requirement that demands counties to have, at most, one case of neonatal death per 1,000 live births per year.
The validation, will in essence, remove Kenya’s name from the list of fifteen countries in the world that are yet to receive the MNTE validation.
In order to achieve MNTE, countries are required to immunize women of reproductive age with TTCV before or during pregnancy for protection against tetanus since a child born to a woman protected against tetanus is also protected from the disease in the first few weeks of its life when the risk of infection is greatest. Hygiene birth practices also augment the cause.