Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Effective Action Could Eliminate Maternal And Neonatal Tetanus

12.09.2007
The renewed worldwide commitment to the reduction of maternal and child mortality, if translated into effective action, could help to provide the systemic changes needed for long-term elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus. These are the conclusions of authors of a Seminar published early Online and in an upcoming edition of The Lancet.

Dr Jos Vandelaer, World Health Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland, say: "Although easily prevented by maternal immunisation with tetanus toxoid vaccine, and aseptic obstetric and postnatal umbilical-cord care practices, maternal and neonatal tetanus persist as public-health problems in 48 countries, mainly in Asia and Africa."

Tetanus is caused by a neurotoxin produced by Clostridium tetani, spores of which occur worldwide in soil and in the gastrointestinal tracts of animals, including humans. The condition is characterised by muscle rigidity and painful muscle spasms caused by tetanus toxin's blockade of inhibitory neurons that normally oppose and modulate the action of excitatory motor neurons. Tetanus muscle rigidity usually begins in the masseter muscles, resulting in trismus (lockjaw). About 90% of newborn babies with tetanus develop symptoms within the first 3-14 days of life. As disease severity increases, muscle rigidity extends and spasms begin. In severe tetanus, sudden generalised contractions of all muscle groups can occur, while consciousness is preserved, making the disease "truly dreadful."

The advent of mechanical ventilation in the 1960s and 70s, plus the development of benzodiazepines, means that mortality rates of 20% or less are increasingly common for tetanus patients who have access to a modern intensive care ward. However, even in limited resources, basic medication, experienced medical supervision and high-quality nursing can bring the mortality rate down below 50%. The Seminar discusses the immunology of tetanus and the benefits/ methods of vaccination against it, and also the maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination initiative, which since its inception in 1990 has made great progress towards eliminating the disease.

With available and pledged funding, the authors believe that elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus can be expected in all but 11 countries* by 2009. However sustaining elimination could be problematic, with improvements in the number of deliveries attended by trained personnel, improvements in antenatal care practices, and routine vaccination of women of childbearing age all required.

The authors conclude: "The rejuvenated worldwide commitment to improvement of maternal and child health, and special attention to the importance of neonatal survival, catalysed by the child and maternal mortality Millennium Development Goals, is heartening.

"Since tetanus spores cannot be removed from the environment, sustaining elimination will require improvements to presently inadequate immunisation and health-service infrastructures, and universal access to those services."

Tony Kirby | alfa
Further information:
http://www.thelancet.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>