World Vision Ghana(WVG) has underscored the need for the Government of Ghana and the International Community to initiate pragmatic policies and programmes geared towards ensuring universal free birth registration.
The National Director of WVG, Mr Dickens Thunde, made the call when WVG and UNICEF jointly launched a furnished Multi Complex Office for the Birth and Death Registry in Bolgatanga.
Mr Thunde said a research conducted by World Vision International Public Policy on Birth Registration in 2014 revealed that more than 50 million births go unregistered each year in the world, yet the organisation recognized that it was the fundamental human right of every child to be registered at birth.
“Birth registration apart from being an essential tool for providing a child with a legal identity and a gateway to accessing health, economic, political and legal services, also confirms a child’s nationality, place of birth, parents and age among others,” he said.
The National Director stated that the goals of the five year campaign to end Child Marriage Project which was being implemented by WVG and its partners could not be realized fully if serious attention was not given to the birth registration of babies.
He noted that it was against that background that WVG attached so much interest in complementing Government’s efforts to empower the Birth and Death Registry to embark upon vigorous campaign to register more newborn babies.
He said apart from renovating the Birth and Death Registry Office in Bolgatanga, the Regional Capital, WVG supported the procurement of a license and networking of the regional office to the national registry all summing up to 148,898.65 Ghana cedis.
“World Vision Ghana procured basic office furniture, cabinets, desk top computers and a laptop for the Bawku West and Garu-Tempane Districts offices. Also World Vision Ghana in partnership with the Registry has also registered 25,000 children in World
Vision Ghana selected operational areas across the country also totalling 625,000.00 Ghana cedis,” the National Director said.
The Child Protection Specialist of UNICEF, Ms Emelia Allan, said UNICEF would continue to collaborate with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to strengthen the capacity of the Birth and Death Registry to attain the fullest registration coverage of infants.
Whilst calling on the traditional, religious and community leaders and parents to ensure that all children in their respective communities were duly registered, the Child Protection Specialist impressed upon the municipal and district assemblies to mainstream birth registration into their Medium Term Development Plan.
Mr Issifu Fuseini Damba, the Upper East Regional Director of Birth and Death, commended the Upper East Regional Health Directorate for providing office accommodation for the Registry for the past 30 years and also thanked the Northern Regional Directorate of Birth and Death for assisting the Bolgatanga office in the past 10 years in its operation when the office was in dire need of support.
He stated that with the provision of the new office accommodation, it would help reduce the pressure and the huge expenditure they often incurred in the discharge of the office duties.
Whilst WVG supported the refurbishment of the facility, UNICEF provided the office with automated office equipment and furniture.