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Earlier this year, paediatric nurse Johanna Bosowski embarked on her first mission with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to Agok, in northern South Sudan.
Working on the neonatal ward, she encountered a young patient with a disease she had never seen in the UK before.
In most developed countries, thanks to a vaccine, cases of tetanus are extremely rare. But, in 2013 (the latest year for which estimates are available), it still killed roughly 59,000 people around the world - many of whom wouldn’t have had access to the vaccine.
Clostridium tetani, the tetanus bacteria, can be found almost anywhere. The moment our defenses are compromised, whether by a blister on the sole of a foot or a traumatic amputation, and tetanus-laden earth gains access to our body, the bacteria begins to pump out a toxin which acts on the central nervous system, much like the pesticide and poison known as strychnine.
Johanna gives blood in Agok. Read more about the day she saved two lives.
Johanna holds her 'miracle baby'
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