NAIROBI, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Friday received a certificate from the World Health Organization (WHO) for eliminating maternal and Neonatal Tetanus.
The country made the achievement following a recommendation for validation that was made in 2018 by a WHO-led process.
"I applaud Kenya for having attained elimination status of maternal and neonatal tetanus," Rudi Eggers, WHO Representative to Kenya said in Nairobi during a national immunization forum.
Eggers said that Kenya now needs to maintain the elimination status by vaccinating women of reproductive age with tetanus toxoid and implement hygienic practices during delivery.
"Let us now step up effort to identify the unreached children and then design specific innovative approaches to reach them," said Eggers.
He said that Kenya is now officially out of the list of 14 countries that had not yet eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus in 2018.
Rashid Amana, chief administrative secretary in the ministry of health commended the ministry of health personnel for ensuring that Kenya joins countries that had already been certified tetanus free.
Amana urged health personnel to strive and reach the target for routine immunization as had been outlined in the ministry's program.
"We have to continue the planned immunization program to help save lives of children in the country," said Amana.
The official said that Kenya plans to attain 90 percent immunization nationally while all the 47 counties are expected to reach 80 percent by 2020.
Neonatal tetanus is a fatal disease particularly in difficult-to-reach and rural areas where deliveries take place at home without adequate sterile producers and in unclean environment.