A gynaecologist, Dr Nathaniel Adewole of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, on Thursday, January 5, 2017 advised the public to take anti-tetanus vaccine to guaranteed lifelong immunity against the disease.
Adewole who stated this at Abuja that the tetanus infection was one of the causes of the major killer-diseases of children and contributed to deaths among mothers.
According to him, tetanus infection is caused by a bacterium called clostridium tetani, it is a grand positive anaerobic bacillus and the risk factors can exposed the baby’s life to tetanus infection that could predispose him or her to diseases like; contaminated wounds, sustained injury from rusted nail and unhealthy management of umbilical cord after delivery.
Adewole said that tetanus could be found in dirty, sand, rusted nail, and anything that allowed anaerobic bacteria to grow and because of the incidence of deaths from tetanus infection to both mother and baby, there is usually an anti- tetanus vaccine that is given to all pregnant women for prevention.
He added “anti-tetanus vaccine is given according to its schedule of five doses; after first dose is given, the second dose is administered within four weeks of the first dose. This is because the first dose does not carry any immunity; hence the need to give second dose after four weeks but does and the third and fourth doses will be given respectively which will carries for six months and one year”.
Adewole further said that after those doses had been administered afterward, the fifth dose would be given to ensure lifelong immunity and members of the public should take the lifelong anti-tetanus vaccine or avoid injuries that could predispose them to tetanus infection, stressing that prevention is better than cure.
Adewole further advised that if one was not on lifelong immunity vaccine against the disease booster doses should be given each time injury was sustained from risk objects. Also, if expectant mother is not on lifelong immunity vaccine, she should be given two doses of anti-tetanus injection in every conception.
“If there is injury, anti-tetanus injection should be taken, but for contaminated wound, the patient will take anti-tetanus serum (ATS) first before tetanus injection”.
The gynaecologist further advised that that women who had miscarriages should be given anti-tetanus injection adding that they were prone to tetanus infection due to complications.