Birth And DeathThe Chief Director of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Vincent Adzato-Ntem, has reiterated that the non-registration of deaths patients and the indiscriminate interment of corpses were against the law and must stop.

Speaking at a press conference held in Accra last Friday, to officially announce the 10th Births and Deaths Registration Day celebration, Mr Adzato-Ntem, 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 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.

Between the first BDR day celebration in 2004 and this tenth celebration,birth registration coverage has increased from around 17% to 60 %. Death registration coverage, on the other hand has hovered around 24%. Expectations are that the Registry would make further improvements to hit the projected target of 65% birth registration coverage for 2013 and to build on grounds gained to increase births and deaths registration coverage up steadily until the internationally recognized standard of 90% coverage levels for births and deaths is attained.

The Registry highlights some of the challenges that have militated against its efficient operation leadingto a slowdown in achieving stated targets to include its inability to:

?For which he describe as to generate a database of registered events that will facilitate information sharing between the Registry and other agencies like the Ghana Statistical Service, the National Identification Authority, the Social Security and National insurance Trust (SSNIT), The Vehicle Examination And Licensing Division (VELD) the Electoral Commission and others,? he stressed.

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