The Deaths and Births Registry (BDR), the agency mandated to register Ghanaians at birth and at death has started registering new born babies immediately after birth.
The exercise which is been run on a pilot basis is currently going on in the Greater Accra region. The project is been supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Mr. John Yao Agbeko, the Acting Registrar of the Births and Deaths Registry announced this at a one-day roundtable discussion on how Ghana can develop one identification system.
“This project is going on in some selected hospitals within the Greater Accra region,” said Mr. Agbeko.
He explained that what they are doing is to allow the officials of the hospitals to use mobile phones to gather information about new born babies and then send the information to the deaths and births registry department. “The success of this project will be extended to the other part of the country,” he added.
The problem this project is encountering is that majority of Ghanaian babies are not named at the hospitals. “Most Ghanaian parent waits until a month or two before naming their babies. It’s a major problem but we are trying our best,” he added.
According to him, lack of logistics, capacity and resources are also affecting their operations and not making them provide services effectively.
Mr. Agbeko said they are doing this registration because they realized annually about 35% to 40% of new born babies are not registered, and because of that it is difficult to identify them. “They also put pressure on social amenities in the country,” he added.
The registrar said they have also noticed that about 60% to 70% deaths that occurred in the country, mostly in the villages are not registered.
As a result of this the BDR department is making sure that all District Assemblies will control various cemeteries in the country. “This is to identify all persons buried and captured them into the death registry,” said Mr. Agbeko.
Mr. Agbeko said they are in the process of reviewing the Births and Deaths Registry Act 1965 (301). “There are a lot of things we are not able to do because of this Act,” he stated.
The Births and Deaths Registry was therefore established by the Act 301 of 1965, within the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, to handle and develop the births and deaths registration system in Ghana.
Its core business is to provide accurate and reliable information on all births and deaths occurring within Ghana for socio-economic development of the country through their registration and certification.
The vision of the registry is to attain universal births and deaths registration in Ghana. Its mission is to exists and provide accurate, reliable and timely information of all births and deaths occurring within Ghana for the Socio-economic development of the country through their registration and certification.
Its functions include legalization of registered births and deaths; storage and management of births and deaths records/registers; issuance of certified copies of entries in the registers of births and deaths upon request; and effecting corrections and insertions in the registers of births and deaths upon request; preparation of documents for exportation of the remains of deceased persons; processing of documents for the exhumation and reburial of the remains of persons already buried; verification and authentication of births and deaths certificates for institutions, especially the foreign missions in Ghana.
Source: Fred Yaw Sarpong- Daily Express