WHO certifies India as maternal and neonatal tetanus free

New Delhi: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday presented India the certificates declaring elimination of yaws, maternal and neonatal tetanus, an official statement said.

The certificates were presented to the Health Minister J.P Nadda at an event organised here.

“India’s focused approach on making maternal and newborn care accessible to all and addressing health care equity more generally has made these remarkable successes possible. These victories are not only India’s but all of humanity’s as the country accounts for approximately one-sixth of the world’s population,” said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, World Health Organization South-East Asia Region.

In May this year, WHO certified India yaws-free after a team of experts verified interruption of disease transmission in the country.

India gained the tag of neonatal and maternal tetanus free country in 2015.

Khetrapal said both yaws and maternal and neonatal tetanus eliminations were achieved using the existing health system and health workforce.

“Sustained political commitment, clear policies, unified strategies, close supervision and monitoring tireless efforts of the front line workers and invaluable support of partners, particularly for MNTE, were the key factors for these public health feats,” added Khetrapal.

Yaws is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the skin, bones and cartilages.