Neonatal Tetanus: The Current Context Of Cases In Tawau, Sabah, Malaysia

Kok Hing Cheong, Anhar Syazwan Muhammad Anuar, Choo Minn Yin, Sandeep Singh Gill


Objective: To study the demographic, clinical features, management and outcome of neonatal tetanus treated at Tawau Hospital.

Method: A retrospective study of neonatal tetanus admitted to a district hospital in Sabah was conducted.

Results: In 2015, the hospital handled 18 cases of babies with neonatal tetanus in the Tawau Hospital. This implies an occurrence of 1.5 cases per month. All the mothers were non-citizens and did not have any proper antenatal follow up. All the tetanus babies required invasive mechanical ventilation with a median of 20 days (range, 5 to 32 days). The survival rate was 94.4%.

Conclusion: Despite the promotion of maternal and childhood vaccination along with hygienic practices of delivery, neonatal tetanus still remains a threat to babies born in Sabah.

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