Monday, September 15, 2008

Neonatal Tetanus

Tonight I am babysitting for the McD's, and since the kids went to bed three hours ago and the parents won't be home for another hour probably, I have been fwamming around reading new blogs. I saw this video and some info about it on a site that looks like it's written by a pretty fun lady! Anyways, I want to quote one of the things she wrote:

Maternal & Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) is one of those diseases that’s just lurking everywhere. It’s transmitted through dirt and in the air and passed through open wounds. Open wounds like UMBILICAL CORDS. Many infants in third-world countries are delivered in mud huts with no clean water available. Umbilical cords are cut with whatever sharp instrument is around instead of a clean knife. Then packed with mud to stop the bleeding. And within 5-7 days, they die from tetanus.

It’s not a silent slow killer either. It’s marked with muscle rigidity,
muscle spasms, inability to eat and seizures triggered by light and touch.


Imagine your newborn baby, having muscle spasms and whenever you tried to comfort him he had a seizure. It’s horrifying.
First of all, I'm thankful for our tetanus vaccinations we have here. But I had never heard of this before! Isn't it terrible?? It's a reality for millions of people in the world, but we don't have to worry about it -- my sister won't have to worry about it in two weeks, and I won't have to worry about it in the years to come. Do you ever wonder "Why us?" I'm not looking to write a whole treatise right now on the idea of how blessed America and the Western world is, but come on. What did I ever do to be free of this and so many other concerns that are implicitly taken care of by various pricks in our arms when we're three months old and the pipes running underneath our houses?

Here's the video:

*Disclaimer: I'm not trying to promote the organizations in the video, it's just the only one I've seen*

Those statistics at the end: 30,000 moms a year. That's 82 a day. And the babies? A bit under FOUR HUNDRED PER DAY. FOUR HUNDRED.


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