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|U.S. Fund for UNICEF and BD Partner to Accelerate Elimination of Maternal & Neonatal Tetanus|
New Tetanus Delivery Technology Holds Potential to Save Hundreds of Thousands of LivesThe United Nations Children's Fund and BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE:BDX) will team up to launch BD Uniject(TM) with tetanus toxoid, an advanced injection technology that will improve the way immunizations are administered.
From July 25 to July 31, BD will join UNICEF and partners as they witness tetanus immunization campaigns in two remote regions of Mali (Bla and Bougoni) using the Uniject(TM) device.
Uniject(TM) is a single dose, non-reusable, pre-filled injection device designed to enhance accuracy and safety, be administered by lay people, and when filled with tetanus vaccine remain stable at ambient temperatures without refrigeration for up to three months. The short-term goal is to immunize 118,000 women of childbearing age with the tetanus toxoid (TT) vaccine during the one-week period in Mali. The longer-term goal is to continue using Uniject(TM) to reach the most remote parts of globe that have been traditionally too difficult to reach with standard immunization approaches.
While maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) has been eliminated in much of the developed world, tetanus continues to take the lives of 200,000 newborns and 30,000 mothers annually in the 57 countries where it remains a public health threat.
BD was the first partner to join the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in their effort to support UNICEF's goal of elimination of MNT worldwide. This initiative has become a model for successful public/private partnership, and has expanded to include many other corporations, foundations and individuals.
"The ability to reach women and children in remote regions of the world is imperative to the success of the global push to eliminate MNT by 2005," said Charles J. Lyons, president of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "The pre-filled injection device presents an opportunity to reach the world's poorest populations who may not otherwise be vaccinated."
BD has pledged to donate one half of all devices required for global tetanus elimination under the UNICEF program, estimated to be 270 million immunizations, including nine million Uniject(TM) devices for special efforts like those in Mali. BD manufactures the Uniject(TM) device, and BioFarma, the national vaccine manufacturer for Indonesia, donated the vaccine and filled the devices for UNICEF. BD also donated the automated filling equipment used by BioFarma.
Gary Cohen, president of BD Medical Systems, is participating in this week's MNT immunization campaign in Mali. He stated that, "15,000 newborn deaths were averted in 1999-2000 as a result of the accelerated MNT initiative. It is very gratifying to be a partner in this highly successful effort, and to know that the Uniject(TM) technology will play a key role in saving many more lives."
Mr. Cohen further stated that, "The success of the MNT elimination effort is also reflected in the efficient approach taken by UNICEF, led by Dr. Francois Gasse. The cost of the full three round immunization regimen, including the vaccine, the injection devices, all field and administrative support, and health education on clean birthing practices, is just $1.20 per person. This is remarkable, particularly considering the effort it takes to reach people in the most remote and economically disadvantaged areas of the world."
The U.S. Fund for UNICEF works for the survival, protection and development of children worldwide through education, advocacy and fundraising. Created in 1947, it is the oldest of 37 national committees around the world that support UNICEF's mission. For more information about the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, call 1-800-FOR-KIDS, or visit www.unicefusa.org.
BD is a medical technology company that serves healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, industry and the general public. BD manufactures and sells a broad range of medical supplies, devices, laboratory equipment and diagnostic products. Founded in 1897, the company has participated in major public health initiatives over many decades, including the campaign led by Dr. Jonas Salk in the 1950's to eliminate polio in the United States.
CONTACT: U.S. Fund for UNICEF Media Marissa Buckanoff, 212/922-2485 email@example.com or BD Charlie Borgognoni, 201/847-6651 firstname.lastname@example.org URL: http://www.businesswire.com Today's News On The Net - Business Wire's full file on the Internet with Hyperlinks to your home page.
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