India was acknowledged as the first country in the world to become YAWS-free.
JP Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, received an official citation from the World Health Organisation and the UNICEF for Elimination of Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus (MNTE) and for being YAWS-free on Thursday.
YAWS is a kind of bacterial infection that affects skin, bones and joints, while tetanus, another bacterial infection, leads to muscle spasms that can be fatal.
An official statement said, “India was validated for MNTE in April 2015, much ahead of the global target date of December 2015.” According to the WHO, 19 countries have still not reached the MNTE status.
Nadda said, “Following the success of polio eradication programme, these achievements reflect the dedication of the country towards achievement of health equity and universal health coverage. This has been possible due to the commitment and dedication of the lakhs of health workers, various stakeholders and concerted efforts of planners and policymakers.”
He added that this accomplishment is significant as India has achieved the milestone of being YAWS-free much before the WHO global target year of 2020.