• Ejaz A Khan
  • Rownak Khan
  • Muhammad Tariq Iqbal
  • Quamrul Hasan
  • Saadia Farrukh
  • Muhammad Safdar Rana
  • Wasiq Mehmood Khan


Background: Pakistan is one of the remaining 24 countries which have not yet achieved Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination (MNTE). The country adopted high-risk approach for 56 out of 119 districts with country-wide Tetanus Toxoid (TT) provision in Routine Immunization (RI) during early 2000–2003. The TT’s mass campaigns could only cover 13% of high risk districts for 2009–2011, and mostly for the Punjab province. To achieve MNT elimination, the country needs risk mapping for cost-effective intervention. Methods: We used both the quantitative and qualitative methods to conduct risk characterization. All the three available data sets (Reported EPI coverage data, PDHS 2012–13, and PSLM 2010–11) were assessed. A mix of core and surrogate indicators for risk categorization was used through ranking and scoring the aggregated data and considering the past tetanus campaigns’ coverage. Tetanus Toxoid (TT2+) coverage of pregnant women and delivery in health facility, both received more weightage in scoring. We based the higher and lower cuts off points for each indicator on data ranges. The districts with higher scores, i.e., 10.5 and above were ranked good followed by medium (5.5–10.4) and low performing (less than 5.5). Consultations with the national and provincial field officers were utilized to understand the local context. Results: In Pakistan, there are 139 districts out of which, 60 are the high risk districts for tetanus. Highest percentage is for Baluchistan (83%) followed by Sindh (52%), and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (40%). Most of the Punjab is at medium risk (55%), followed by KP (52%), and Sindh (39%). Conclusion: Pakistan is at medium to high risk of MNT with a great variation at the sub-national level. Campaigns aiming to these districts may bring the country closer to MNT elimination target.Keywords: Tetanus Toxoid, mothers, neonates, risk categorization, developing country


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