Eradication of Tetanus

Surname 1
Student’s Name
Professor’s Name
Eradication of Tetanus
Tetanus is one of the common diseases that keep spreading in different communities across the
world. The eradication of the disease remains a global issue because many communities have not
engaged in vaccination of children and mothers and proper care of wounds. After sourcing data
from different databases such as Medline and Cochrane, C. L. Thwaites and H. T. Loan wrote an
article in the British Medical Bulletin to discuss the methods and steps that a community can take
to eradicate tetanus. This paper provides a summary of the article entitled ‘Eradication of
Tetanus’ in the journal and explains how the information in the article correlates with my
textbook, ‘An Introduction to Community and Public Health 8
Edition.’ It also explains how
the information in the article relates to my community.
Summary of the Article
Tetanus is an immunizable disease caused by a powerful neurotoxin that is synthesized by a
bacterium known as Clostridium tetani. Clostridium tetani spores are found below the earth
surface in the soil particles and the other parts of the environment across the world (Thwaites and
Loan 69). Once in an appropriate anaerobic niche such as a dirty wound, the spores develop, and
the bacteria increase in number. The cuts or abrasions on the skin are the key portal entries of
tetanus into the body. For neonatal tetanus, the bacteria enter into the infant through the
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umbilical stump especially when people carry out traditional processes such as cutting the
umbilical cord using grass during parturition.
The developed countries have been at the forefront in applying preventive techniques to
eradicate tetanus. The programmes of immunizing babies and proper post-exposure prophylaxis
have reduced the cases of disease in high-income countries such as UK and USA. The rate of
mortality from tetanus still ranges between 10% and 80% even though the disease is preventable
(Thwaites and Loan 70). Pregnant mothers should also receive tetanus vaccine so that they
transfer the antibody across the placenta to protect the neonates. A programme by WHO in an
attempt to eliminate neonatal tetanus through vaccination of mothers all over the world has led to
a reduction of the incident to 58000 cases per year (Thwaites and Loan 71). However, there must
be an adequate investment to maintain the vaccination against tetanus across the globe. Failure to
eradicate tetanus increases the risk of HIV and malaria attacks in the affected places.
How the article correlates with the textbook
The textbook ‘An Introduction to Community & Public Health’ discusses the current trends and
statistics in the healthcare of any community. The first chapter of the book narrates a brief
history of community and public health and explains some of the techniques that people used in
ancient ages to treat common diseases. The article by Thwaites and Loan also narrates the
traditional method of carrying out birth practices like cutting the cord with grass. The textbook is
full of statistical data reporting on the prevalence of common diseases that affects communities.
The article in the journal also provides comprehensive data on the number of patients who
receives tetanus vaccines across the world. According to Thwaites and Loan, 96 percent of
children in developed countries receive the tetanus vaccine (73). They also note that only 72
percent of children in Africa receive the recommended fundamental course (Thwaites and Loan
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73). Like in An Introduction to Community & Public Health, the article in British Medical
Bulletin narrates that lack of awareness had led to many cases of tetanus among the children.
Since the awareness is currently growing, tetanus infections occur majorly due natural disasters
such as earthquakes.
How the Information from the Article Relates To My Community
The impacts of tetanus vary in different communities across the world. In my community, the
rate of malaria infection has been quite high. The community members have no knowledge why
the frequency of malaria infection is high. In the article, Thwaites and Loan note that malaria and
HIV/AIDS are endemic in places where tetanus is common (74). The rate of tetanus infection in
my community is about 30 percent; a factor that I can now say has led to higher level of malaria
attacks. The community invests a lot of capital in the treatment of malaria without knowing its
cause. When tetanus affects an individual, it lowers his or her immunity thus increasing the
probability of malaria attacks. Later, the plasmodium that causes malaria may inhibit the transfer
of protective antibodies from the mother to the neonates, and this poses a danger to the unborn.
A recent study in Kenya reports that the tetanus antibodies decreased by 52 percent in expectant
mothers who were suffering from malaria and HIV (Thwaites and Loan 74). This article,
therefore, provides a comprehensive knowledge about the high level of malaria attack in my
Tetanus will affect many countries if preventive measures such as vaccination are not
administered in time. Administering the vaccine after an attack has very little effects on the
disease. It remains a community problem because it interferes with the growth and development
of new generation. Pregnant mothers should frequently be vaccinated to provide the protection
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antibodies to the unborn babies, which will reduce the chances of infection to the infant after
birth. Mothers in the community must also practice hygiene to prevent neonatal tetanus.
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Work Cited
Thwaites, C. L., and H. T. Loan. "Eradication of Tetanus." British Medical Bulletin,
vol. 116, 2015, pp. 67-77, doi:10.1093/bmd/ldv044.

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