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Keep up with the latest news and excitement from around the Carolinas!

M.N.T.: Scarier than Halloween!

Sara Pinkowski

Each year, 34,000 babies and countless more women are killed by an easily preventable disease: maternal and neonatal tetanus. That’s once every fifteen minutes. Through the Eliminate Project, UNICEF plans to drop this statistic down to 0.

Maternal and neonatal tetanus, also referred to as MNT, cause severe light sensitivity and painful convulsions. If untreated, there is little to no chance of survival. But even with hospital treatment, the chance of survival is desperately low. Since the disease is caused by exposure to highly prevalent tetanus spores, the only way to eliminate it is through prevention. A $1.20 vaccine can prevent a mother and her future children from having this horrible disease.

While most of us view $1.20 as pocket change, this amount is simply too high for those in developing nations. As part of their global initiative, UNICEF provides this vaccine for free. Through countless donations and the efforts of thousands of workers, the Eliminate Project has decreased the number of countries impacted by MNT from 57 down to 15. However, UNICEF will not stop until MNT is eliminated from each of the remaining countries: Afghanistan, Angola, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Yemen. Our goal as Key Clubbers is to help them accomplish this feat.

Take part in the initiative by providing money, promoting the Eliminate Project, and educating others about the hard reality of MNT. Host fundraisers such as a Halloween themed dance or a Trick or Treat event, distribute flyers throughout your school, and post to social media using the hashtag #mycarolinaskey. For countries suffering from this disease, every cent counts. Donations can be collected in boxes available on the Kiwanis Store through this link: https://store.kiwanis.org/Product/Trick-or-Treat-For-UNICEF----Key-Club-K-Kids-Builders-Club--Aktion-Club-KI92014-2696.htm.