Maternal and neonatal tetanus

Lancet. 2015 Jan 24;385(9965):362-70. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60236-1. Epub 2014 Aug 19.


Maternal and neonatal tetanus is still a substantial but preventable cause of mortality in many developing countries. Case fatality from these diseases remains high and treatment is limited by scarcity of resources and effective drug treatments. The Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination Initiative, launched by WHO and its partners, has made substantial progress in eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus. Sustained emphasis on improvement of vaccination coverage, birth hygiene, and surveillance, with specific approaches in high-risk areas, has meant that the incidence of the disease continues to fall. Despite this progress, an estimated 58,000 neonates and an unknown number of mothers die every year from tetanus. As of June, 2014, 24 countries are still to eliminate the disease. Maintenance of elimination needs ongoing vaccination programmes and improved public health infrastructure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / adverse effects
  • Abortion, Induced / mortality
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Disease Eradication / trends
  • Female
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal Mortality
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / mortality*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / prevention & control
  • Tetanus / diagnosis
  • Tetanus / mortality*
  • Tetanus / prevention & control
  • Tetanus Antitoxin / therapeutic use
  • Tetanus Toxin / physiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Tetanus Antitoxin
  • Tetanus Toxin