PIA Press Release
Sunday, July 17, 2011
by Maritess B. Beñas
BANGUED, Abra, July 17 (PIA) — Health authorities here have started moving around for the province-wide tetanus toxoid supplemental immunization activity targeting 50,000 Abrenan women aged 15-40.
Abra is one of the nine provinces/cities in the country identified as highest risk for maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT). Because of this, the Department of Health-Cordillera Administrative Region in cooperation with the Abra Provincial Health Office launched the activity here last week in an advocacy meeting and press conference.
In his presentation on the maternal and neonatal tetanus, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Godofredo L. Gasa, said Abra is high risk for tetanus because of the practice of most women especially in the far flung communities to give birth in the homes without the supervision of government health personnel, and proper health care is often neglected.
As a result of the poor health practice particularly in deliveries, and the non-coverage of tetanus toxoid, maternal mortality rate is 0.19% per 1,000 pregnant women who give birth and infant mortality rate is 3.45%.
As a strategy to combat and eliminate MNT, the DOH in cooperation with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) had embarked on the program “Todo-todo tayo kontra tetano” where massive administration of the tetanus toxoid is given to women in the reproductive age of 15 to 40.
Dr. Alexi Marrero, the regional coordinator on the DOH-CAR Expanded Program for Immunization (EPI) said, the administration of the tetanus toxoid will be conducted in three rounds.
After one month interval of the round 1, the second round will be conducted again, and the third round will be done in March of next year.
Marrero emphasized that the women administered with the first three rounds of the vaccine should complete the fourth and fifth rounds.
To complete the strategy to eliminate MNT, the practice of clean deliveries should be promoted and an intensive surveillance of maternal tetanus be made.
Vaccinating girls at the most fragile time of their lives -menarche – is a dangerous experiment. SV