Dr Okai Aku of Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN) says intensive immunisation of both mother and child is key to the prevention and reduction of Under-5 deaths in the country.
Aku told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday that healthcare for mother was foundational in protecting the unborn baby.
He explained that antenatal care was paramount in ensuring that the unborn overcame Under-5 mortality and neonatal fatalities.
“We must always ensure that a pregnant mother is routinely immunised to serve as a guard to the unborn.
“Because the mother and child are inseparable, they are both together and to a large extent the life of the baby depends on the mother,” he said.
The medical practitioner, who urged parents to immunise their children, said most immunisation for infants were free.
“There is every reason for all of us to act fast in saving our children by immunising them regularly as well as making referrals to pregnant mothers.’’
Aku emphasised the provision of adequate dieting and nutrition to pregnant mothers as a means of protecting the unborn baby from morbidities.
He said that nutritional factors were also responsible in most cases for the wellbeing of both mother and child.
He, however, called for more advocacy targeted at the rural areas to break the barriers of cultural beliefs against antenatal care and immunisation.