The Socio-Economic Challenges in Post Neonatal Tetanus


Background: Tetanus has remained a major public health problem worldwide although it is a vaccine preventable disease. It is a major contributor to under-five morbidity and mortality globally. Its effect is worse in developing countries such as Nigeria. Aims and Objectives: To highlight the socio-economic challenges in the management of Post neonatal tetanus at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. Study Design: A Retrospective Descriptive study. Place of Study: University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital. Methods: Report of the socio-economic challenges in the management of three consecutive cases of Post neonatal tetanus at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital from February to April 2015 was studied. Data on socio-economic variables were retrieved from case notes of the patients. Results: These were three patients, two females and a male. Their ages were 11 years old of the two females and 14 years old of the male. None was immunized with tetanus toxoid in infancy. All three children survived. They were all from low socio-economic class, two mothers were petty traders while one was unemployed, only one mother had complete secondary education. One mother was immunized in pregnancy, while one mother was married. Conclusions: The socio-economic challenges of tetanus are immense, but could be prevented by simple measures such as education of the girl child, immunization of all school children, raising community awareness among other measures, and strengthening the school health program.

Share and Cite:

Eberechukwu, Y. and Angela, B. (2015) The Socio-Economic Challenges in Post Neonatal Tetanus. Modern Economy, 6, 1327-1332. doi: 10.4236/me.2015.612125.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Arnon, S.S. (2007) Tetanus (Clostridium tetani). In: Nelson Textbook of Paediatrics, Chapter 208, 18th Edition, 1228-1230.
[2] WHO (2006) Tetanus Vaccine-WHO Position Paper. Weekly Epidemiological Record, 81, 197-208.
[3] Gbadegesin, R.A., Adeyemo, A.A. and Osinusi, K. (1996) Childhood Post Neonatal Tetanus. Nigerian Journal of Paediatrics, 23, 11-15.
[4] Nte, A.R., Mayuku, A. and Oruamabo, R.S. (2002) Neonatal and Post Neonatal Tetanus—The time to Act Is Now. Nigerian Journal of Paediatrics, 29, 85.
[5] Akuhwa, R.T., Alhaji, M.A., Bello, M.A. and Bulus, S.G. (2010) Post Neonatal Tetanus in Nguru, Yobe State, North-Eastern Nigeria. Nig Med Pract, 51, 40-42.
[6] Liu, L., Johnson, H.L., Cousens, S., Perin, J., Scott, S., Lawn, J.E., Rudan, I., Campbell, H., Cibulskis, R., Li, M., Mathers, C., Black, R.E., and for Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group of WHO and UNICEF (2012) Global, Regional, and National Causes of Child Mortality: An Updated Systematic Analysis for 2010 with Time Trends since 2000. Lancet, 379, 2151-2161.
[7] Federal Ministry of Health (2005) Situation Analysis. National Child Health Policy, Nigeria. Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja.
[8] Borrow, R., Balmer, P. and Roper, M.H. (2007) The Immunological Basis for Immunization Series—Module 3: Tetanus Update 2006. This Module is a Revision of Artur Galazka’s 1st Edition (WHO/EPI/GEN/93.13) and Was Produced for Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, WHO Edition. World Health Organization, Geneva.
[9] UNICEF/WHO/UNFPA (2000) Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination by 2005: Strategies for Achieving and Maintaining Elimination. UNICEF, New York.
[10] Federal Ministry of Health and Human Services (1992) Neonatal Tetanus. Nigerian Bulletin on Epidemiology, 2, 13-16.
[11] Oyelami, O.A., Aladekoko, T.A. and Ononye, F.O. (1996) A 10 Year Retrospective Evaluation of Cases of Post Neonatal Tetanus Seen in a Paediatric Unit of a University Teaching Hospital in South Western Nigeria (1985 to 1994). The Central African Journal of Medicine, 42, 73-75.
[12] Anah, M.U., Etuk, I.S., Ikpeme, O.E., Ntia, H.U., Zneji, E.O. and Archibong, R.B. (2008) Post Neonatal Tetanus in Calabar, Nigeria: A 10 Year Review. Nigerian Medical Practitioner, 54, 45-47.
[13] Fatunde, O.J. and Familusi, J.B. (2001) Post Neonatal Tetanus in Nigeria: The Need for Booster Doses of Tetanus Toxoid. Nigerian Journal of Paediatrics, 28, 35-38.
[14] Ministry of Health (2002) Reducing Inequalities in Health. Wellington.
[15] Adegboye, O.A., Adeboye, M.A.N. and Anoba, S. (2012) Childhood Tetanus; Still a Public Health Concern. A Review of 95 Cases. Savannah Journal of Medical Research and Practice, 1, 20-24.
[16] Alhaji, M.A., Akuhwa, R.T., et al. (2013) Post Neonatal Tetanus in University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, North-Eastern Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Paediatrics, 40, 154-157.
[17] Aboud, S., Matre, R., Lyamuya, E.F. and Kristoffersen, E.K. (2000) Levels and Activity of Antibodies to Tetanus Toxoid in Children Aged 1-15 Years in Dares Salaam and Bagamoyo, Tanzania. Annals of Tropical Paediatrics, 20, 313-322.
[18] Chukwubike, O.A. and Godspower, A.E. (2009) A 10 Year Review of Outcome of Management of Tetanus in Adults at a Nigerian Tertiary Hospital. Annals of African Medicine, 8, 168-172.
[19] National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Act, 2011. Vanguard, February 23, 2011.
[20] Chukwuka, J.O., Ezendu, C.E. and Nnamani, K.O. (2015) Neonatal and Post Neonatal Tetanus in Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, South-East Nigeria: A 10 Year Review. Tropical Journal of Medical Research, 18, 30-33.
[21] National Planning Commission, UNICEF (2001) The Main Causes of Mortality and Morbidity among Children and Women. In: Children’s and Women’s Rights in Nigeria: A Wake-Up Call: Situation Assessment and Analysis, UNICEF, New York, 40-54.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.