Eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus 

Maternal and neonatal tetanus is deadly. And it’s painful – preventing even the comfort of a mother’s touch.

There’s an additional tragedy: MNT afflicts babies even though it’s preventable. The vaccine has been safely used since the 1940s, and other preventive measures, including maternal health education, have had a proven long-term impact. And yet, millions have died from this disease because of poverty and unsafe birthing practices.

Kiwanis International has been fighting MNT since 2010, when we partnered with UNICEF for The Eliminate Project. During that campaign, which concluded in 2020, we raised money for lifesaving vaccines, health education, safe birth environments and more — all for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations.

Millions of women can now give birth without fear of their babies dying from this horrible disease. In fact, MNT has been eliminated from 27 countries with the help of Kiwanis International.

Of course, this fight started long before Kiwanis partnered with UNICEF. The World Health Assembly called for the elimination of neonatal tetanus in 1989, when the disease was killing 800,0000 babies every year. In 2019, that number had been reduced to 25,000 — a decline of more than 96%.

Kiwanis International is proud of the role we’ve played, but we’re not done. We remain committed to raising money and funding efforts to save and protect mothers and babies in parts of 12 countries where MNT remains a threat.

Photo courtesy of UNICEF


A new report shows that the number of babies dying each year from maternal and neonatal tetanus continues to fall, thanks, in part, to the commitment of Kiwanis International.


Vision Partners

Be a Partner