The Births and Deaths Registry has launched this year’s Mass Mobile Registration exercise in Accra to improve and encourage early infant registration and publicise its services nationwide.
The exercise held annually was initiated by the Births and Deaths Registry in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD) in 2004 to sensitise the public on the importance of birth and death registration.
It is to make births and deaths registration accessible to the public, and to issue free birth certificate to children between the ages of zero to 12 months nationwide.
In 2021, 80 per cent and 17 per cent of birth and death registrations were recorded respectively.
This year’s exercise, which will start from July to December in all 16 regions and the 261 districts across the country, would involve mass media awareness through public address systems, and radio and television discussions.
There would also be community and stakeholder engagements in local dialects through local media communications, including mobile registration vans, community information centres, announcement at churches and mosques to mobilise residents for the exercise.
Registration officers at the Regional and District levels would collaborate with the District Assemblies to ensure a wider coverage for a successful exercise, with monitoring teams from the National Office and MLGDRD.
The Registry received 2,450 tablets from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), under the auspices of the Office of the Vice President and presented them to the 16 Regional Registrars to enhance their operations.
It also presented eight vehicles to them under the Harmonizing and Improving Statistics in West Africa Project (HISWAP) funded by the World Bank to strengthen the statistical systems in the West African sub-region.
Mrs Henrietta Lamptey, Registrar of Births and Deaths, said the exercise would ensure that every child was given an identity at an early stage of life as enshrined in Article 7 of United Nation Convention of the Right of the Child.
‘‘Having such a data is critical in our socio-economic planning and development, especially at the district level,’’ the Registrar said.
Mrs Lamptey said the Registry was strengthening its partnership with the National identification Authority, Ghana Statistical Service, Ghana Health Service, National Health Insurance Scheme, and the Assemblies to improve data quality and coverage on births and deaths registration.
She said the Registry had relocated its National Office to the third floor of the National Association of Local Authorities Ghana, (NALAG) House, after over 50 years of operation in a wooden structure.
The Registrar said it had introduced a call centre and an online payment platform on Ghana.gov portal to provide the public direct access to its services whiles enhancing its website for easy accessibility.
Civil Registration and Vital Statistics had been in existence in the country since 1888, and in 1912 birth registration was included in the registration of vital events.
After independence, a new legislation, the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1965 (Act 301) was enacted for the registration of births, foetal deaths and deaths in the country to regulate vital registration activities in the country for over half a century.
The Act was repealed in 2020 and replaced with the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 2020 (Act 1027), which demands that communities must assist in the registration of births, foetal deaths and deaths for the purposes of generating a community population register.