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15.06.2004 General News

Birth Registration In Upper East Encouraging.

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Wiaga (U/E), June 15, GNA - The Upper East Region has registered about nine thousand births of children between the ages of 0-12 months, from January to June this year, indicating a high expectation of birth registry in the history of the region.

In the previous years, the region could only register between 9,000 and 13,000 births representing 30 per cent of the annual target of the Department of Births and Deaths in the region.

The Regional Registrar of the Department of Births and Deaths, Mr. Jojo Dolphin, disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview on Tuesday at Wiaga, in the Builsa District, where he indicated that the Department has targeted the registration of about 20,000 births of children between 0-12 months to represent a 51 per cent record in the history of the region.

He attributed the low registration of births in the region to ignorance as a result of high illiteracy level of the people, the lack of offices and staff, low morale in the few staff as well as high cost of processing fees for registration, among others.

Mr. Dolphin said the Department has waved off fees in processing the registration of births as a way of encouraging people to register their children, adding that it is done in connection with the celebration of the African Union Day of the child.

Mr. Dolphin said the Department takes advantage of the celebration to sensitise the public on the importance of birth registration, and that it has also participated in some locally organized programmes such as the Ghana Health Service (GHS) week celebration on Child Health Promotion.

The Registrar said the sensitisation programmes has contributed immensely to the success chalked by the Department this year. , adding that about 2,960 births were registered during the GHS Child Health Promotion Week.

He was optimistic that his outfit would hit its target this year, saying that the Department has received six Motorcycles from UNICEF to enhance the collection of data on births in all the six districts in the region, "which serves as a morale booster for the workers on the field", he stressed.

Mr. Dolphin, however, lamented the lukewarm attitude of district assemblies in the region towards figures on birth registration, adding that the collection of such data could enhance the assemblies planning processes since they need correct data to make projections in their planning.

He, therefore, called on the assemblies to show interest on birth registration figures of the department to enable them make effective planning. He appealed to the district assemblies, benevolent NGOs and donor agencies to come to the aid of the department.