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This year, 128,000 babies in the developing world will not make it to their first birthday due to neonatal tetanus - a disease that has been entirely preventable for over 70 years. Pakistan is one of the countries where this disease is very common - 30,000+ newborns die annually from Neonatal Tetanus in Pakistan.

Labelling this statistic unacceptable, Pampers and Unicef have joined forces in Pakistan once again in the fight against newborn tetanus, with the i1 pack = 1 life-saving vaccine" campaign. Pakistani legend, Shaan, continues to support Pampers and Unicef as the campaign ambassador. The campaign puts mothers at its heart, enabling them to make an immediate difference to the lives of thousands of babies.

Talking about the cause, local celebrity and campaign ambassador Shaan said, "It is unacceptable that thousands of babies aren't reaching their first birthday as a result of a totally preventable disease. The Pampers UNICEF campaign shows that other parents in Pakistan share my shock and desire to stop these tragic deaths. In 2008, we were able to raise more than 1 million vaccines for babies in Pakistan. As parents, we have many demands on our time and our finances but this is one campaign where one of our regular purchases of Pampers will make an immediate difference."

Sharing his thoughts on the campaign, Brand Manager Saad Rao said, "Tetanus is a silent killer because people don't really know much about it. We are honored to have Shaan, veteran actor and parent, joining us to raise awareness of our Unicef 'One Pack = One Vaccine' program. At Pampers, we care about every baby's development and have a proud history of helping mothers and babies in need. This campaign invites mothers and fathers around the country to join us in this global drive to help save lives"

Dr Francois Gasse, head of Unicef's immunisation programme and known across the developing world as 'Dr Tetanus' said: "No one should die of tetanus today, not when it can be so easily prevented. Although through routine vaccination it is no longer a threat in the west, tetanus continues to kill in developing countries throughout the world. The Pampers Unicef campaign is vital in raising awareness of this deadly disease and shows that mums really care about the plight of other mums and their babies. Working with Pampers for the fourth year, we now have a realistic vision of being able to help eliminate tetanus globally by 2012.i

The campaign's "1 pack = 1 life-saving vaccine" initiative aims to help Unicef in its goal of eliminating newborn tetanus by 2012. To date Pampers has donated over 150 million vaccines to Unicef. In its debut year (2006), the campaign raised 7.5 million vaccines. However, the campaign, which has consistently exceeded all expectations, is continuously striving to raise the bar. Pampers is hoping to fund as many as 100 million more vaccines this year, with the objective of helping to save babies' lives.

Tetanus is caused by bacteria that live in soil. Newborns are often infected as a result of unhygienic birth practices, such as cutting the umbilical cord with un-sterile instruments or handling it with dirty hands. Once contracted, there is no real cure with up to 70 per cent of babies dying in the first month.

Maternal and neonatal tetanus can be prevented through simple injections given during pregnancy, to protect both a mother and her unborn child during this vulnerable period.

Following administration of the tetanus vaccine to a pregnant mother, the antibodies pass across the placenta to her foetus.

Two doses of the tetanus vaccine are needed to start protection, protecting the mother for 3 years and the baby for its first 2 months.

Unicef is the leading children's organisation reaching children in more than 150 countries around the world. Unicef is not funded by the UN and relies entirely on voluntary donations.

Pampers cares for the development of every baby around the world and continuously works in partnership with NGOs, charity organisations and many, many hospitals and health professionals to help to make a difference. Some of the many initiatives which demonstrate Pampers ongoing commitment to vulnerable and disadvantaged babies around the world include education programmes for mothers and mothers-to be, training schemes for physicians and nurses, and the donation of equipment for maternity wards and orphanages.
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Publication:Pakistan & Gulf Economist
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jul 18, 2010

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