UNICEF, World Vision Assist Births & Deaths Registry With New Office Complex
| Updated Oct 28, 2017 at 9:21am
A new office complex valued at the cost of One Hundred and Forty-Eight Thousand Ghana cedis had been completed and officially handed over to the Upper East Regional office of the Births and Deaths Registry.
The edifice which began in 2001 by the then administration is made possible through the joint effort of UNICEF and World Vision International Ghana.
At a brief ceremony held in Bolgatanga, various speakers bemoaned the country’s abysmal birth registration coverage rate which is still pegged at 65 percent since 2009.
They observed that the provision of the facility has come an opportune time, having realized the urgency to pull resources together to support the agency perform its expected role and to enable it function as an important provider to Ghana’s identification system.
Correspondent Isaac Asare was there for radio Ghana and filed the following report.
The Bolgatanga Regional Births and Deaths Registry Department has been operating without a permanent office for the past thirty years.
With limited human and managerial resources, the office has since been dependent on the Regional Health Directorate thus affecting the smooth running of its activities especially at the district level.
However, the completion of the new office complex has come as a relief to the department as it will not only ensure a significant increase in birth registration but also spare parents and caregivers the stress of transporting huge quantity of registration forms to either Tamale or the national capital for entries and processing.
With this facility in place, such bottlenecks would be adequately addressed since there is an automated system in place to register children right at birth.
For the record, the Upper East Region had for years chalked some appreciable level of achievements in terms of birth registration coverage with the hope to maintain the status quo and work to exceed the registry’s annual and monthly targets.
In a welcome address to commission the project, the Acting Regional Registration Officer for the Births and Deaths Registry, Issifu Damba mentioned some staggering figures to appreciate the level of success chalked over the years.
Birth registration is considered a key identity document confirming a child’s nationality, age and place of birth.
Unfortunately, birth registration is not universally guaranteed and each year more than 50 million births go unregistered. In Ghana, ac study conducted by UNICEF in 2013 had shown that birth registration coverage has not gone beyond a 65 percent rate since 2009.
Moreover, four in ten children are not registered at birth and even when these children are registered, many exist without birth certificate. Madam Emelia Allan, is a Child Protection Specialist at UNICEF.
She said the situation gives cause for concern and in a bid to reverse the trend, UNICEF has adopted an innovative approach in an effort to reach out to those in hard to reach areas for the sake of enhanced identification system.
Commissioning the project, the National Director World Vision International, Dickens Thunde observed that birth registration is essential for providing a child with a legal identity. It also serves as a gateway to accessing services and providing legal protection from violence and all forms of abuse and exploitation.
This, he said explains World Vision’s resolve to inject heavily in the registration of children in its operational areas.
Mr. Thunde therefore appealed to government and the international community to make birth registration free and accessible to all.
Accompanied by Mr. Thunde a plaque was later unveiled by the Regional Coordinating Director on behalf of the Regional Minister, Mr. Rockson Bukari.
The project which is estimated at the cost One Hundred Forty Eight Thousand Ghana cedis was officially commissioned with a tape cutting.
The new edifice has various departments under it all furnished with automation equipment and other office furniture to facilitate work.
The ceremony was characterized with a drama by the Kassena Child Kids Club entitled "Birth Registration, a Potential Stopper to Ending Child Marriage".
Participants were also treated to some traditional drumming and dancing.