A newborn baby who has been undergoing special treatment for neonatal tetanus caused by unhygienic birthing practices has been cured and discharged after 40 days of hospitalisation.

Dr Ho Thi Kim Hoa, Deputy Director of Peadiatrics-Obstetrics Hospital in northern mountainous province of Lao Cai, said Giang A Tu, an ethnic minority baby boy from Bao Thang district, was hospitalised with convulsions and a slow heartbeat.

Previously, Tu's mother had delivered him at home and the umbilical cord was cut using unsterilised instruments.

Two days later, the newborn's jaw and facial muscles tightened and he could not be breast-fed. Tu was transferred to Lao Cai Peadiatrics-Obstetrics Hospital after one day of treatment at Bao Thang district's General Hospital.

The baby returned to stable condition after 40 days of treatment, she added.

Hoa noted that more and more newborn infants are contracting tetanus as mothers give birth at home and follow unhygienic birthing practices, and they all are mostly from rural and remote areas.

Figures from the hospital reveal that the survival rate among newborn infants with tetanus remains rather low – only about 20 percent of the total infants seeking treatment. Last year alone, six newborn infants were hospitalised with neonatal tetanus.-VNA