The Eliminate Project is dedicated to eliminating the existence of maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT). Kiwanis International and UNICEF have been working together since 2010 to raise $110 million by the year 2015 in order to completely eliminate MNT from the planet.
Maternal and neonatal tetanus still exists in 31 countries (20 countries in Africa, five Middle Eastern countries, one country in the Americas, and five Asian Pacific countries). It has been eliminated in 23 countries (22 in Africa, one in the Middle East, and five Asian Pacific countries). On Oct. 30, 2012, the World Health Organization confirmed that MNT has been eliminated in China.
MNT causes newborns to have painful convulsions and sensitivity to light and touch. Every nine minutes, approximately one baby dies from MNT. Mothers also suffer from the illness. MNT is caused by tetanus spores from soil. With poorly sanitized equipment for childbirth, the disease is easily contracted. To eliminate MNT, 100 million mothers will need to be immunized. This requires three doses of the immunization, totaling $1.80 per person.
West Chester University’s Circle K, along with the rest of Circle K International, is working along with the Kiwanis Family to raise money for the Eliminate Project. By March 13, 2013, the Pennsylvania Circle K District hopes to raise $9000 for the Eliminate Project.
WCU’s Circle K is selling wristbands for $3. All the profit from the bracelets goes towards the Eliminate Project. Victoria Spera, the Pa. Circle K governor, said, “Literally, one wristband sold equals one life saved.” Anyone interested in buying a wristband (and saving a life) can contact Victoria at email@example.com or (215) 817-1786.
Circle K held several fundraisers for the Eliminate Project already. Circle K had a Pita Pit fundraiser in late September. Around a dozen Circle K members attended a Kiwanis Club Applebee’s Flapjack Fundraiser on Sept. 29. For $5, members got all-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage, and orange juice.
The first Tuesday of the month is Dollar Tuesday at Circle K meetings. Members are asked, at these meetings, to donate money to the Eliminate Project. Other upcoming fundraisers for the Eliminate Project include bake sales. For $1, people can also participate in “Buck for a Block”, in which they can have an advertisement (a “block”) in the monthly Circle K newsletter. WCU’s Circle K has raised around $130-140 for the Eliminate Project so far this year.
For more information on the Eliminate Project, see http://sites.kiwanis.org/Kiwanis/en/theELIMINATEproject/home.aspx.
Theresa Kelly is a first-year student majoring in English literature secondary education. She can be reached at TK780615@wcupa.edu.