By Christine Do
From Oct. 29 to Nov. 2, Key Club hosted their Eliminate Week, in which they promoted the awareness of MNT (Maternal Neonatal Tetanus), a deadly disease that kills newborns and mothers when they are exposed to light and touch. Dance to Eliminate was held last Saturday to celebrate the funds Key Club has raised thus far.
“MNT needs to be known since over 49 million newborns have suffered from this disease since the year 2017 and it can be cured so easily with only 3 doses of vaccine,” states Vice President of Administration Joann Huynh.
As one of Key Club’s main projects, many of the fundraisers have gone to the Eliminate Project, which pays for the vaccines that will protect the mother and pass on immunity to the baby once it is born. A baby is killed every 15 minutes by MNT and a mere $1.30 pays for three doses of vaccines which can save their lives.
“So many mothers and children suffer needlessly from MNT even when there are vaccines out there, so it shouldn’t be able to take lives when it could be cured,” states Treasurer Kathy Ton.
In order to raise awareness for this cause, Key Club hosts MNT Week. Monday is Make-A-Pledge Day where they pledge to eliminate MNT. The club sells MNT pins to support the cause on Tag-It-Tuesday. Wicked Wednesday encourages Key Clubbers to raise money by bringing their Trick-or-Treat boxes to ask for donations as they go from door to door on Halloween day in search of candy.
For Throwback Thursday, Key Clubbers post a baby picture on social media and state a fact about MNT. Finally, on Appreciation Friday, they show love and appreciation to their mothers by through a picture and a few sentimental words on social media.
“After MNT Week, we are hoping that more people are inclined to go to Dance to Eliminate because with funds going to MNT, if they learn about the cause, then they’ll want to support the cause,” says Kathy.
Similarly, Key Club hosts Dance to Eliminate to celebrate the funds that have been raised so far and as another fundraiser to promote the cause. This is a dance in which Key Clubbers have a good time dancing and mingling with each other. They’re able to meet new people while celebrating funds raised for the cause.
With all this fundraising, a huge impact is being made in the lives of those who cannot afford these vaccines. So far in the term, Key Club has raised almost $600 out of their goal of $1,300. By fundraising, those who have donated or helped with the cause have granted countless mothers and their babies protection from MNT. If the goal is reached, Key Club would be able to save over 600 lives.
“Recently, we’ve been able to eliminate MNT from Kenya and the Philippines,” says MNT Coordinator Emily Vu.
In order to raise awareness, Key Club has been talking about MNT during their meetings on Wednesdays at lunch. They have also been doing MNT workshops at DCM (District Council Meetings) that occur every month. In addition, MNT Week and Dance to Eliminate have been able to spread the knowledge about this disease. With these fundraisers, hundreds babies and mothers will be protected from MNT and given the opportunity to live a wonderful life.