14.5 Immunization against tetanus
Tetanus is a very serious, life-threatening infection, which damages the nervous system and is caused by bacteria in the environment, for example in soil. Tetanus toxoid immunization is the best protection against tetanus for the woman and her baby. Therefore, it is very important for her to be immunized according to the schedule on her card, and to bring her card to every antenatal care visit (Figure 14.10).
In the Module on Postnatal Care, you will learn that to prevent tetanus in the newborn, the stump of the baby’s umbilical cord should be kept clean and dry after birth and until it falls off. This is one reason why it is so important for the woman and her family to plan and prepare for a clean and safe childbirth attended by a skilled health provider such as you.