Becton, Dickinson and Co. committed $1 million over the next five years to fight maternal and neonatal tetanus with UNICEF USA.
This builds on the Franklin Lakes-based medical technology company’s relationship with UNICEF, one that was established in 1997 when BD was the first U.S.-based corporation to establish a maternal and newborn tetanus program with the organization.
Neonatal tetanus is a deadly disease that kills one newborn every 21 minutes, or approximately 68 newborns every day, according to the World Health Organization. Between 2000 and 2018, however, newborn deaths from maternal and neonatal tetanus have declined by 88%, the WHO found.
UNICEF is working to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus worldwide through vaccinations, the promotion of clean childbirth delivery practices such as clean umbilical cord cutting methods, and by utilizing surveillance to understanding of the ways tetanus can be transmitted.
“Over the past 24 years, the MNT initiative has grown into an international public-private partnership that includes governments, global humanitarian organizations, non-profits and corporate partners, all with one mission to prevent unnecessary deaths from maternal and neonatal tetanus,” said BC Chief Executive Officer Tom Polen in a prepared statement. “This $1 million commitment continues our collective efforts to expand access to health care among the vulnerable populations who need it most and is part of our broader purpose – advancing the world of health.”