Kiwanis, UNICEF Join Forces to Save 129 Million Mothers and NewbornsBy U.s. Fund For Unicef, PRNE
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
The Eliminate Project will protect mothers and babies from Tetanus
LAS VEGAS, June 24, 2010 - Kiwanis International and UNICEF have joined forces to save the lives of
babies and their mothers by eliminating maternal/neonatal tetanus (MNT), a
disease that kills an estimated 60,000 newborns and 30,000 mothers each year.
UNICEF Ambassador and actor Tea Leoni delivered the announcement at the 95th
Annual Kiwanis International Convention.
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"Kiwanis believes that no baby or mother should have to suffer the
devastating effects of MNT," said Kiwanis International President Paul
Palazzolo. "Kiwanis will mobilize its nearly 600,000 family members to become
tireless advocates for these children and raise needed funds to defeat this
MNT is easily prevented by a series of three vaccinations to women of
childbearing age, costing roughly US$1.80. The Eliminate Project: Kiwanis
eliminating maternal/neonatal tetanus will raise US$110 million over the next
five years to fill the funding gap required to provide an estimated 387
million doses of the vaccine.
The Eliminate Project will deliver life saving vaccines to the most
vulnerable women and children in the world: those in remote and difficult to
reach areas; conflict zones; and with little access to healthcare.
"With Kiwanis by our side, we will be able to conquer maternal/neonatal
tetanus," said U.S. Fund for UNICEF President and Chief Executive Officer
Caryl Stern. "I've seen how this disease devastates families. Infants suffer,
while mothers are unable to comfort their babies. Kiwanis is providing the
final push that will protect vulnerable women and their newborns."
The majority of mothers and newborns dying of MNT live in 40 countries
located in Africa, and Southern and East Asia. The disease kills one baby
every nine minutes. Its effects are excruciating-tiny newborns suffer
repeated, painful convulsions and extreme sensitivity to light and touch.
"As a mother of two children, I have known the great joy of welcoming a
new life into this world. I couldn't imagine watching my child suffer and die
from a disease that is as easily preventable as MNT is," said Tea Leoni.
"With this new partnership between Kiwanis and UNICEF, so many lives will be
Not only will The Eliminate Project protect women and babies from
tetanus, the project also will create a path for other services, such as
clean water, nutrition and other vaccines, to reach the world's most
Partnering with UNICEF, Kiwanis successfully completed its first global
campaign for children to virtually eliminate iodine deficiency disorders
(IDD), the leading cause of preventable mental impairment. Kiwanis raised and
leveraged more than US$100 million, which helped change lives in 103 nations.
The number of households estimated to be consuming iodized salt has jumped
from less than 20 percent in 1990 to more than 70 percent, and the effort has
been heralded as one of the most successful health initiatives in the world.
For additional information about The Eliminate Project, go to:
About Kiwanis International
Founded in 1915, Kiwanis International is a global organization of
volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a
time. Kiwanis and its family of clubs, including Circle K International for
college students, Key Club for teens, Builders Club for adolescents, K-Kids
for elementary students and Aktion Club for adults with disabilities,
dedicate more than 18 million volunteer hours to strengthen communities and
serve children annually. The Kiwanis International family comprises 586,000
adult and youth members in 80 countries and geographic areas. For more
information about Kiwanis International, please visit www.kiwanis.org.
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian
organization in the world. Working in over 150 countries, UNICEF provides
children with health care, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency
relief, and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through
fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States.
UNICEF is at the forefront of efforts to reduce child mortality
worldwide. There has been substantial progress-the annual number of
under-five deaths dropped from 13 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008. But
still, 24,000 children die each day from preventable causes. Our mission is
to do whatever it takes to make that number zero by giving children the
essentials for a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit
Jo Lynn Garing, Kiwanis International, +1-317-217-6171, +1-317-508-6337 (M), jgaring at kiwanis.org; or Kini Schoop, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, +1-212-922-2634, +1-917-415-6508(M), kschoop at unicefusa.org
Tags: June 24, Las vegas, Nevada, Scandinavia, U.s. Fund For Unicef, Western Europe