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Riverton students trick-or-treating for a cause

Oct 31, 2012 - From staff reports

The ELIMINATE Project aims to protect 129 million mothers and future babies around the world.

Riverton High School Key Club members and Riverton Middle School Builder Club members will be traveling door-to-door on Halloween night and during the coming weeks asking for donations to help eliminate maternal/neonatal tetanus.

Kiwanis International and UNICEF have joined forces to eliminate MNT, which reportedly kills 60,000 babies and 30,000 mothers each year.

The "ELIMINATE Project: Kiwanis eliminating MNT" will focus on reaching the most vulnerable women and children in the world -- those in remote and difficult-to-reach areas, people in conflict zones and people with little access to health care and safe delivery practices.

MNT is easily prevented by a series of three vaccinations to women of childbearing age, costing roughly $1.80. With Key Club International members' help, the ELIMINATE Project will raise $110 million over the next five years to provide an estimated 387 million doses of the vaccine.

In Africa, southern and east Asia, and other remote locations, MNT kills one baby every nine minutes. Its effects are excruciating--tiny newborns suffer repeated, painful convulsions and extreme sensitivity to light and touch.

The project also will create a path for other services, such as clean water, nutrition and other vaccines, to reach the world's most vulnerable people.

Partnering with UNICEF, Kiwanis successfully completed its first global campaign for children, virtually eliminating iodine deficiency disorders. Kiwanis raised more than $100 million, which helped change lives in more than 89 nations. The number of households estimated to be consuming iodized salt has jumped from 20 percent in 1990 to more than 70 percent, and the effort has been heralded as one of the most successful health initiatives in the world.

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