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16.02.2006 General News

Failure to register births and deaths is criminal


Tema, Feb. 16, GNA - The general public has been called upon to register all births and deaths, as failure to do so was an offence, punishable by a court of law.

Madam Hannah Twumasi-Ankrah, Tema Municipal Registrar of Births and Deaths Registry made this known on Wednesday, when she spoke to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview at Tema.

"Act 301 of 1965 emphasizes that, it is an offence not to register births and deaths occurring within a district," she said, adding that, over the years the act has not been taken serious but upon the education, the registry was given to the public, it would be enforced.

The Municipal Registrar noted that, registration of births must be done within 21 days, while that of deaths should be registered within seven deaths of occurrence; she however, added that, a grace period of one year is given for new birth registration during, which it was free of charge, thereafter a fine was collected.

She explained that, figures derived from registratio n of births and deaths were used by the government for the social and economic planning of the nation for the provision of schools, health facilities and other public amenities.

Madam Twumasi-Ankrah observed that, the country has reached a state where one could not be offered employment without a birth certificate, also without it, one could not open a bank account and neither could one gain admission into schools without a birth certificate.

She advised all to keep in mind the place and date of their birth registration as well as the entry number to enable them obtain copies of their birth certificates, should they misplace them. The Municipal Registrar further cautioned that it was equally an offence to register more than once.

On death registration, she indicated that, it was equally important as the birth registration, therefore, the general public should endeavour to register deaths.

She appealed to the Muslim community to ensure that, they register all deaths before they bury their deceased members.

Madam Twumasi-Ankrah indicated that for the registry to be more accessible to the public, the municipality has opened offices at Ashaiman, Kpone, and Tema Mahean Health centres, Tema General Hospital and the main office at Tema Municipal Assembly, as well as volunteers, who were sent to homes with the registration forms to gather the information needed for the registration and they duly enter it into the municipal register and certificates issued.