Anoka Area Kiwanis Club is joining forces with Kiwanis members worldwide to help eliminate an otherwise preventable disease.
That disease is maternal/neonatal tetanus.
Kiwanis and UNICEF are working together to vaccinate mothers against tetanus as part of the ELIMINATE project.
The goal of the project is to vaccinate 61 million mothers worldwide against tetanus with a series of three shots.
Maternal/neonatal tetanus happens during childbirth. Tetanus spores are found in soil everywhere and become a problem when they come into contact with an open sore, especially during childbirth.
The disease kills one baby every nine minutes and is nearly 100 percent fatal in infants.
Each shot costs 60 cents, with the total cost for three shots, or 10 years of immunity, $1.80.
The Kiwanis’ goal is to raise $110 million to eliminate the disease in 30 countries.
According to Don Felmlee, lieutenant governor for region 7 of the MNDAK district who spoke with the Anoka Area Kiwanis Club March 28, Kiwanis members have already raised $10 million and removed three countries from the list. Anoka has raised some $1,000 toward the effort.
“We have the cure. All we have to do is get it there,” Felmlee said.
The ELIMINATE project has UNICEF setting up health teams in these countries and training the local people to administer the shots and run the program, which creates patient trust.
The Anoka Area Kiwanis Club meets Wednesdays at noon at Green Haven in Anoka.
Kelly Johnson is at [email protected]