Maternal tetanus toxoid vaccination and neonatal nortality in rural north India

A. Singh, Sasee Pallikadavath, Reuben Ogollah, W. Stones

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Objectives Preventable neonatal mortality due to tetanus infection remains common. We aimed to examine antenatal vaccination impact in a context of continuing high neonatal mortality in rural northern India. Methods and Findings Using the third round of the Indian National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2005–06, mortality of most recent singleton births was analysed in discrete-time logistic model with maternal tetanus vaccination, together with antenatal care utilisation and supplementation with iron and folic acid. 59% of mothers reported receiving antenatal care, 48% reported receiving iron and folic acid supplementation and 68% reported receiving two or more doses of tetanus toxoid (TT) vaccination. The odds of all-cause neonatal death were reduced following one or more antenatal dose of TT with odds ratios (OR) of 0.46 (95% CI 0.26 to 0.78) after one dose and 0.45 (95% CI 0.31 to 0.66) after two or more doses. Reported utilisation of antenatal care and iron-folic acid supplementation did not influence neonatal mortality. In the statistical model, 16% (95% CI 5% to 27%) of neonatal deaths could be attributed to a lack of at least two doses of TT vaccination during pregnancy, representing an estimated 78,632 neonatal deaths in absolute terms. Conclusions Substantial gains in newborn survival could be achieved in rural North India through increased coverage of antenatal TT vaccination. The apparent substantial protective effect of a single antenatal dose of TT requires further study. It may reflect greater population vaccination coverage and indicates that health programming should prioritise universal antenatal coverage with at least on
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e48891
JournalPLoS One
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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