Greener Journal of Medical Sciences

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Yaguo and Uchenwa-Onyenegecha

Greener Journal of  Medical Sciences Vol. 5 (3), pp. 053-057, June 2015.

 ISSN: 2276-7797  

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 052615076



Tetanus in Nigeria: Is the end in sight?


*1Yaguo Ide  Lucy Eberechukwu and 2Uchenwa-Onyenegecha Tochi Ada


1Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.   Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria, West Africa P.M.B 6173. E-mail:lucyaguolucy @gmail. com,

2Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.   Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria, West Africa P.M.B 6173. E-mail: tochiuchenwa @yahoo. com


*Corresponding Author’s E-mail: lucyaguolucy@ gmail. com. Phone: +2348109864336



Background: Tetanus especially neonatal has remained a public health problem and major contributor to morbidity and mortality in developing countries such as Nigeria despite the availability of effective vaccines for over 40years. The institution of preventive and control interventions for tetanus like immunization, essential obstetric care and good cord care as well as education are still very poor in most developing countries and  are major contributing factors to the continued existence of tetanus. This study aims at reviewing the status of tetanus cases in UPTH with a view of determining if the end is in sight.


Methods: The records of all cases of tetanus both neonatal and post neonatal treated at the department of Paediatrics University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital from the year 1995-2015 were reviewed for age, sex, presenting complaints, portal of entry, immunization status, duration of hospitalization and outcome of illness.


Results: Four hundred and twenty seven cases of tetanus comprising of 253(59.3%) males and 172(40.3%) females. 2(0.4%) did not have any record of their sex. There were 313(73.3%) neonates and 114(26.7%) post neonatal cases. Amongst the post neonatal cases, most of them: 90(78.9%) were above 5years. Most mothers of the neonatal cases were unimmunized and delivered outside health facilities and also most of the children with post neonatal tetanus were either unimmunized or incompletely immunized. The case fatality rate was 45%.


Conclusion: The number and characteristics of cases and mortality rate has remained high despite the availability of effective vaccines over the years. There is need to provide affordable and accessible obstetric care for mothers and strengthen the present immunization coverage in Nigeria to reduce this scourge.


Key words: Tetanus, mortality, End in sight.

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