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Birth and Death Registry launches Awareness Day

The Management of the Birth Deaths Registry (BDR) has said the lack staff at the registration center is promoting the activities of middlemen known as “goro boys”.

Mr Agbeko, Registrar of Birth and Death, made this known at a press conference to launch the 2016 Birth and Deaths Registration Awareness Day.

The theme for this year’s event will be celebrated on theme: “Early births and deaths registration: the foundation for a credible system.”

He said the Registry has 410 registration offices across the country, which are manned by 268 permanent staff; a situation, he described as a disincentive to the operations of the Registry.

“Due to inadequate staff, we rely on national service personnel and volunteers who are not retained after the end of their term or service and so they hang around the offices and most of them turn into middlemen to assist clients of the registry,” he said.

Mr Agbeko said the registry needs sufficient resources to strengthen its staff base and also develop its infrastructure.

He called on Government to provide resources to revamp the vital registration system to enable it execute its mandate of providing accurate and reliable information on births and deaths.

Mr Joseph Obeng-Poku, the Director of Policy at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, said in spite of the challenges the BDR has adopted new initiatives to enhance the coverage of births and deaths registration.

He said the country’s registration of births and deaths stood at 60 per cent and 24 per cent respectively, against the United Nations benchmark of 90 per cent minimum coverage level.

He said to achieve the UN target and attain its objective of generating statistical data to propel development planning, the BDR has introduced the community population register programme and the automated birth registration system through the use of mobile phone technology.

Mr Obeng-Poku said while the community population register programme sought to establish a data collection system on communities to inform the district assemblies, the automated birth registration system was aimed at helping to eliminate bottlenecks and enhance accessibility.

“Under the automated birth registration system, he said, officials of the registry captured the information at the community level through mobile telephony, which is transmitted to a central point at the national level for the processing of birth certificates.”

He said the initiative is currently being piloted in 300 registration sites in 91 districts in the country.

Mr Obeng-Poku urged the public to take advantage of the initiative and report all births and deaths for registration to help generate the relevant demographic parameters required for national development planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies.

He said registration for children under one year was free, while registration of a death within 30 days of occurrence was also free and needed to be done before burial.

Source: GNA

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