WHO declares India as Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus free

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) announced the elimination of yaws, and maternal and neonatal tetanus, to India and hailed its public health achievements as examples to other countries.In this regard, WHO presented certificates to the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda.

  • “India’s focused approach on making maternal and newborn care accessible to all and addressing health care equity more generally has made these remarkable successes possible,” Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia Region, said in a statement after presenting certificates to India’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare Minister.
  • In May, WHO certified India yaws-free after a team of experts verified interruption of disease transmission in the country. It is the first country under the 2012 WHO neglected tropical diseases roadmap to eliminate yaws, a disabling bacterial disease that results in severe disfiguremen.
  • According to WHO, both yaws and maternal and neonatal tetanus eliminations were achieved using the existing health system and health workforce. It noted sustained political commitment and clear policies, unified strategies, close supervision and monitoring, efforts of the frontline workers, and invaluable support of partners, particularly for MNTE, as key factors for the achievement.
  • The agency described maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination (MNTE) as a “momentous public health feat,” as until a few decades ago the country reported 150,000 to 200,000 neonatal tetanus cases annually. Such tetanus cases are reduced to less than one case per 1,000 live births in all its 675 districts.
World Health Organization (WHO)

The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health.

Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

Founded: April 7, 1948

Head: Margaret Chan

Parent organization: United Nations


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