News Release

Chad Eliminates Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus

LDS Charities and partners work to eliminate the disease globally

LDS Charities and other partners are making progress in a global effort to wipe out maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT), a deadly disease that targets women of childbearing age and their children. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced the elimination of MNT in the African country of Chad. MNT can be prevented through immunization and hygienic birth practices.


LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has been supporting the global MNT Elimination Initiative since 2014, a program led by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and WHO. Kiwanis International is also one of the global partners.

“LDS Charities has been a steadfast partner in the fight to eliminate MNT since 2014,” said Leslie Goldman, vice president, Global Cause Partnerships, UNICEF USA. “LDS Charities’ first gift to this program was allocated to Chad, helping protect millions of women and children from this potentially life-threatening disease.”

Goldman continued, “LDS Charities and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are a major part of the success story of MNT elimination in Chad, and we hope to continue this life-saving work to ensure that mothers and children all over the world are given the chance to survive and thrive.”

Funding from LDS Charities has also been used for programming in Sudan and South Sudan.

"Those who donate to the Church’s Humanitarian Fund should feel a part of this project to save lives," said Sharon Eubank, president of LDS Charities and first counselor in the Church’s Relief Society general presidency. “Maternal neonatal tetanus is a vaccine-preventable disease and immunizing mothers transmits protection to their babies through the first two months of life when they are often born in unsterile conditions.”

As of March 2019, 46 countries have eliminated MNT. Recent successes of the global initiative include the elimination of MNT in Ethiopia, Haiti and the Philippines in 2017, Kenya in 2018 and now Chad in 2019. Only 13 countries remain at risk.

The announcement coincides with World Immunization Week, which is celebrated during the last week of April.

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