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Tag Archives: tetanus

Gaining ground against maternal and neonatal tetanus

We’ve been very focused on tetanus lately. So, though I’ve written about this lethal disease before, I thought it was time to revisit it.

Here in the U.S., we tend to think of tetanus as the very uncommon

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The power of thinking “zero”


It’s not always easy to have your picture taken. You’re exposed, feel self-conscious, and if you fuss too much about the photo, then you’re considered vain. So when I’m asked to take photos of my colleagues for, let’s say, an internal inspirational poster (at right) based off our recent “Believe in Zero” campaign, or portraits of the executives for the website, I know I have a challenge before me.

Unlike our wonderful celebrity ambassadors, many U.S. Fund for UNICEF employees are reluctant to stand in front of a camera

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Sierra Leone: In honor of Fatima

U.S. Fund for UNICEF President and CEO Caryl Stern recently visited Sierra Leone with Pampers “One Pack = One Vaccine” campaign spokesperson Salma Hayek and Pampers representatives, to witness the effect of tetanus on mothers and newborns, and the positive impact of the Pampers/UNICEF program. She sent this post from the field.


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Clay Aiken: Please pledge today


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The 117th Annual GFWC International Convention


The General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) recently honored Caryl Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, as one of four women of distinction at the Empowering Women Banquet, held during the 117th Annual GFWC International Convention in Chicago. Other honorees included Anne Burke, Illinois Supreme Court Justice and a founder of the Special Olympics; Elena Poptodorova, Ambassador of Bulgaria to the United States; and Jaclyn Smith, actress, entrepreneur, philanthropist and breast cancer survivor.

Stern thanked the gathering of over 650 GFWC members for their long-standing support of UNICEF and commitment to the empowerment of women. She pointed out that gender inequality creates a burden on both women and children, and therefore remains a high priority in UNICEF’s work.

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Tetanus is no match for creative strategy

Vaccination drives can take a lot of work: running public service announcements, coordinating health workers, plannng events, etc. On top of these logitical challenges, organizers sometimes face unexpected hurdles like misconceptions about vaccines that stop people from getting lifesaving immunizations.

In Egypt where UNICEF was trying to protect mothers and babies from tetanus, many women had heard false rumors that the vaccines acted as contraceptives or caused sterilization. As a result, a lot of women refused to be immunized, putting themselves and their future children at risk. This presented a troubling situation for Egyptian health officials who were trying to curb the disease.

But UNICEF tackled the problem with a creative, grassroots approach. UNICEF and its partners trained 5,000 local Egyptian women to serve as community liaisons and educate their relatives and neighbors about the benefits of immunization.


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