The Bayelsa state is carrying out its maternal and neonatal tetanus vaccination campaign, to protect pregnant women and their unborn babies from contacting the deadly bacteria as a result of the devastating flood which ravaged the state.

However, while some women expressed happiness over the timely intervention of the vaccination, others were not.

Some flood victims who are just returning back to their homes after the flooding subsided revealed that they prefer food and money to tetanus vaccination.

tetanus vaccination

A nurse, Mrs Ebiakpo Oghenekaro told Bounce News that some women rejected the vaccine citing phobia for needle or pain as an excuse. 

" Some pregnant women refused to be vaccinated. One said she hates needle while another stated that she had three sons without tetanus vaccination and can do without it," She explained.   

At Akenpai community in Epie, Enuah Iyekoreghe said he needs food to feed his hungry family and not medicine.

"We are hungry, not sick. After the flood destroyed my shop, l need food and financial assistance for myself and family, not drugs. We are not having more babies"  he said angrily.

A pregnant woman, Madam Iniye Matthew, however, expressed gratitude to the government. 

"Vaccination after the flood is a good initiative. It is very painful, itchy and swollen. I will endure so that it will work for me and my unborn baby." She said.

Tetanus  is also known as lockjaw, and is a serious infection caused by Clostridium tetani, and has a 100% fatal rate.

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It affects the nervous system and causes muscles throughout the body to tighten.

The bacteria are common in densely populated areas and places where pregnant women visit unhygienic birth attendants.   

In Bayelsa state, untrained traditional birth attendants handle delivery and the umbilical cord of a newborn, thereby mother and child are exposed to tetanus instantly during that process.

tetanus vaccination

Some symptoms of tetanus include fever, difficulty in swallowing, high blood pressure, stiffness in the chest and increased heart rate. 

Tetanus can be prevented through vaccination, cleanliness and the use of sterilized instruments during delivery.

The first implementation of the vaccine campaign took place from November  15 -19 across eight local government areas that make up the state while the second phase will be from December 15, 2018.

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