Interest in births and deaths registration still very low

Births and DeathsThe Births and Deaths Registry has said that a huge number of Ghanaian children are not registered at birth, while a greater number of families fail to register their loved ones who die.

“About 35 to 45 per cent of children born every year are not registered, and because they enter unrecognised, provisions are not made for facilities and services for them, and they are invisible,” the Director of the Registry, Mr John Yao Agbeko noted.

He also said 60 per cent to 65 per cent of people who die annually were unregistered because people left behind lacked interest to register them in spite of efforts by the Births and Deaths Registry to whip up public interest by the numerous initiatives launched.

The Director, who made the revelation at CitiFM and World Bank roundtable on Thursday, said officers at the registry were worried about the phenomenon as it extremely impeded development planning and policies.

He said the registry was “strategically positioned” to provide clients information in order to enhance service delivery, however, insufficient logistics and the lack of capacity largely undermined efforts of officials to work.

Mr Agbeko said that the absence of an integrated national data was a disturbing development, which needed urgent attention, and urged district assemblies to take control of cemeteries and insist on death certificates before allowing burial activities.

The Director told the audience at the forum that the registry has rolled out a number of initiatives, including a pilot project where parents could register new born babies with their mobile phones at their own convenience.

The project, which started with the backing of UNICEF, was being experimented in areas like Amasaman, Adentan, and the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, he said, and when it was scaled up it would benefit institutions like the Electoral Commission, the Driver, Vehicle and Licensing Authority and the Ghana Immigration Service.

The former Executive Director of the National Identification Authority (NIA), Professor Ernest Dumor, expressed concern about the poor performance of the Authority, which he said, botched largely because of lack of national interest.

“We did not insist on an operational acceptance test, we did not insist on any technical report that will make us make a decision as to whether what was being supplied was okay or not,” he said.

“Mobile work stations were breaking down, the laptops on those machines were faulty and we requested that they be returned,” he added,

He said their request to return the equipment did not receive attention.

Source: GNA

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