VoICE Immunization Evidence: Maternal Health
Mothers infected with rubella virus during the first trimester of pregnancy can give birth to children with permanent disabilities such as intellectual impairment, autism, blindness, deafness and cardiac defects. The infection is completely preventable if mothers are vaccinated before pregnancy.
Children [in slums] suffer from higher rates of diarrhoeal and respiratory illness, malnutrition and have lower vaccination rates. Mothers residing in slums are more poorly educated and less likely to receive antenatal care and skilled birth assistance.
Maternal immunization offers an opportunity to protect the mother and fetus, but also passes this protection on to the infant after birth.
Immunization against tetanus, pertussis and influenza during pregnancy has been shown to have a profound affect on the health of the mother and fetus, and increases survival of infants in their first months of life.