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Celebrating partial validations

Since the start of The Eliminate Project in 2010, 25 countries have been validated for eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus. Validation means that in every district of that country there is fewer than one case of neonatal tetanus out of 1,000 live births. The final step in a country’s journey toward that happy moment is the validation survey. 

In some cases, however, it’s more effective for regions of a country to be validated one by one. Each of these is called a “partial validation.”  

And each one is worth celebrating. 

For example, Nigeria’s South East Zone and Pakistan’s Punjab Province are each MNT-free — and each of those partial validations were major landmarks because those areas consist of 12 percent and 23 percent of their nations’ populations respectively.  

Our most recent cause for celebration came with the elimination of MNT in the southern part of Mali, where approximately 90 percent of that nation’s population resides.  

These partial validations signify progress, but they also help build momentum. Pakistan’s Sindh province recently passed a pre-validation survey — the step before undergoing a validation survey — and Nigeria’s South West Zone has scheduled a validation survey for this spring. Both countries also held workshops recently to finalize plans for the remaining regions. 

Thanks to the work of so many people, countless women and babies are no longer at risk of this deadly disease. In addition, sustainable health systems are being strengthened.  

In other words, every partial validation is worth a full celebration.

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