Non-registration of deaths should stop – Chief Director
Mr Vincent Adzato-Ntem, Chief Director of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, said the non-registration of deaths and the indiscriminate interment of corpses were against the law and must stop.
Mr Adzato-Ntem, who made the call at a press conference to announce the 10th Births and Deaths Registration Day celebration, said the practice must be discouraged with the enforcement of legislation.
The celebration will be held on November 22, 2013 in the Northern Region to create awareness on the importance of registration of births and deaths.
Mr Adzato-Ntem said the non-registration of deaths contributed to the loss of information on deaths occurring in the country.
“It also has a very telling effect on health and issues affecting the environment,” he said.
He called on the district assemblies to ensure all burial grounds, both public and private, were registered and controlled to ensure compliance with the law.
Mr Adzato-Ntem, who also highlighted the importance of birth registration, said there was a programme in place to make registration facilities more accessible to residents in hard-to-reach areas through community population register and the mobile registration programmes.
He said the Noguchi Memorial Institute, in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University, were building on the concept to track pregnancy outcomes and mortality trends in an additional 40 communities across the three northern regions.
He said the registry was also carrying out mobile registration exercises targeted at reaching children in the communities as part of efforts in the communities population programme.
Mr Adzato-Ntem said as part of the programme, children in their first 12 months in remote and inaccessible areas of the country had been reached with free birth registration service.
He said the programmes had been rolled out in communities in the Central, Eastern, Northern, Upper West, and Upper East regions with support from Plan Ghana, UNICEF, the Ghana Statistical Service, and District Assemblies.
Mr John Yao Agbeko, Acting Registrar of Births and Deaths, said the organisation was established in 1965 after the enactment of the Births and Deaths Registration Law of 1965 (Act 301).
He said the vital registration system was to provide accurate and reliable information on all births and deaths occurring within the country for socio-economic development through registration and certification.
He said birth registration coverage had increased from 17 percent to 60 percent while death registration coverage had been pegged at 24 percent since 2004.
Mr Agbeko said; “The Births and Deaths Registry would make further improvements to hit the projected target of 65 percent birth registration coverage for 2013. It will build on grounds gained to increase births and deaths registration coverage until the internationally recognised standard of 90 percent coverage levels for births and deaths is attained.”
He called on the Government to open more registry centres in the districts and engage adequate motivational packages to sustain the interest of its volunteers in running the programmes.
Mr Abgeko said there was the need to procure logistics to enhance monitoring and supervision of registration activities in the regions, districts and the community levels.
He appealed to the media to educate the public on issues relating to births and deaths registration and their importance.