South Sudan: Bacteria of tetani endangers mothers and newborns. MAGNA ensures vaccination and thus saves lives
In developing countries 500.000 newborns die every year due to blood intoxication of bacteria tetani. This bacteria gets to environment via secretion from various animals (pigs, horses, sheeps, beef-cattle) and persists in soil for several years. In case of contact and if the skin is ruptured, the bacteria may get into organism and infects from life-threatening illness.
Currently there is 32.000 people living in refugee camp in South Sudan including majority of children, pregnant women and each day babies are born. Unsterile handling of newborn navel or childbearing on the house floor, which is hardpacked soil with cow dung, may lead to bacteria infection. In case the pregnant woman is fully vaccinated, newborn is immune against the bacteria in first couple months. Therefore, it is inevitable that the pregnant mothers and women in childbearing age would be resistant to this bacteria.
MAGNA works in South Sudan in refugee camp for internally displaced people in Juba and implements wide vaccination program. 40 MAGNA health workers and mobilizers are present in the field. They communicate daily, mobilize people through local broadcast to inform and call them up for vaccination against tetanus as well. The vaccination scheme in South Sudan consists of five doses that must succeed in certain time period. Consequently it is very important that children, mothers and women adhere the vaccination scheme. It needs to be monitored and MAGNA workers must motivate them. In January, MAGNA vaccination program against tetanus successfully immunized 3 083 newborns and children under five and 523 pregnant mothers and women in childbearing age. Despite the ongoing conflicts, MAGNA medical team does not cease to deliver primary health care in overcrowded camps.
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