Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination (MNTE)

The partnership

A strong partnership

The Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination Initiative was launched by UNICEF, WHO and UNFPA in 1999, revitalizing the goal of MNTE as a public health problem. The definition of Neonatal Tetanus (NT) elimination as a public health problem is having less than one NT case per 1000 live births in every district per year. Maternal tetanus is assumed to be eliminated once NT elimination has been achieved.

Within the partnership, each partner brings in its own field of expertise:

  • Countries: ownership, oversight and implementation of recommended strategies
  • UNICEF: coordination of accelerated activities and strengthening routine immunization to achieve and maintain MNTE.
  • UNFPA: promotion of clean deliveries and clean cord care practices.
  • WHO: monitoring and validation of elimination status, development of strategies for sustaining elimination and strengthening routine immunization

The UNICEF/WHO/UNFPA strategy document published in 2000, identified 59 countries* that had not yet achieved MNTE. Significant progress has been made since that time, however, as of December 2017, MNT remains a major public health problem in 15 countries**


*Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic (the), Chad, China, Comoros (the), Congo (the), Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (the), Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Liberia, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger (the), Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines (the), Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania (the), Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe - Timor-Leste and South Sudan increased the number of countries to 59

**15 countries where MNT is still a public health problem: Afghanistan, Angola, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo DR, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Somalia, Sudan, South, Sudan and Yemen

2 countries have partly eliminated MNT.

  • South East zone of Nigeria ( Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo)
  • Pakistan, Punjab district