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18.02.2005 Regional News

Registration of Birth/Deaths improves

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Bolgatanga, Feb. 18 GNA - Registration of births in the Upper East Region has improved by 48.6 per cent since the launching of the educational campaign last year to sensitise people on the importance of registering their children.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Bolgatanga on Friday, Mr. Alhassan Salifu, Regional Deputy Director of the department of Births and Deaths said 11,960 children under one year and 2,881 others above one year were registered in 2003. He added that in 2004, about 17,775 babies under one year and 33614 older ones were registered.

He said the sensitisation campaign was launched last year to encourage parent's to register their children at an early age, an exercise being carried out at antenatal care centres.

He explained that birth registration would not only certify the citizenship status of children but also help to give data on the country's population. He attributed the poor response of parents to birth registration in the past to ignorance and low motivation. He said there was a peculiar problem in the region whereby some parents who did not have sons encouraged their daughters to stay in the family house to have children who would carry on the family name.

This practice, he said, posed problems in identifying the paternity of the children, especially so the women refused to disclose the names of the biological fathers of their children and insist on naming the babies after their grandfathers.

"We cannot register such children under the name of the grandfather so we leave out the portion meant for the fathers name in the form and the certificate. This we do in all cases of doubtful paternity", he explained

Mr. Salifu indicated that registration of deaths was still low as many people refused to acknowledge its importance except in cases where they need a death certificate to claim something.

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