Media Called Upon To Champion Birth And Deaths Registration Campaign
Mr Mohammed Sumaila, the Upper East Deputy Regional Officer at the Births and Deaths Registry, has called on the media to partner the Registry to effectively reach out to the general public on its educational campaigns.
He said education and sensitization of the citizenry, especially parents was paramount to increasing the number of people who visit the Registry.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga, Mr Sumaila said accurate statistics about the number of children born in the country at each given time was the best method of achieving proper socio-economic planning that could lead to sustained development.
'As a nation how do we plan? We need statistics and data of the people in the country in order to properly plan for future needs. If you don't have accurate data about your people, especially the number of births each community records every year, you either under plan or over plan and this affects national development,' he said.
The Births and Deaths Registry instituted by an Act of Parliament, Act 301, 1965 is mandated to register all births and deaths occurring in the country to give accurate and measurable data for national planning and development.
It is also considered, particularly the birth registration, as the first identification of a person as citizen of Ghana.
Mr Sumaila said 'education should be made accessible and affordable to all children and if you don't have the data of these children, how do you plan for education in future. In terms of health, every child must be immunized against all the six killer diseases before the period of nine months after birth and it becomes difficult to procure vaccines when you don't have data regarding the number children targeted.'
He said some of the deaths recorded in the country could be prevented if families registered their deceased relatives, where cause of death would be known and provision made to cater for such diseases in future.
Whilst commending UNICEF and World Vision for supporting the Registry, Mr Sumaila noted that the office had inadequate accommodation and staff to reach out to all the communities to ensure smooth operation of their work.
The Deputy Officer urged Non-Governmental Organizations and other development partners to assist the Registry to train volunteers to be ambassadors for the Births and Deaths Registry in their respective communities, and advised parents to register their children within a month after birth.