Sunyani, Feb 28, GNA - The Department of Births and Deaths Registry in Brong Ahafo recorded 49,399 births in 2005 as compared to 59,216 recorded in the previous year. Mr. Sampson Bangni, Regional Director, attributed the decline in an interview with GNA in Sunyani to the failure and apathy of some parents to register their babies even though registration of babies under one year was free.
He said the department was expecting 62,866 births to be recorded in the region this year, adding the expected increase was due to the high fertility rate in the region.
The region also recorded 3,506 deaths in 2005 as compared to 3,686 in 2004, a decline Mr. Bangni also attributed to ignorance and apathy. The Regional Director explained that most people in the region did not understand the essence of the registration of births and deaths, which he said was an essential tool for planning communities and towns. "The exercise helps in the planning of the establishment of schools and other social amenities and if the government has to import vaccines, registration of births play a key role", he said. Mr Bangni suggested that heads of schools should inspect the birth certificate of a child before enrolling him or her and would also ensure good parental care.
He called on assembly members and unit committees to help with the registration of births and deaths in communities to corroborate the efforts of the department.
Mr Bangni appealed to the government to provide the department with adequate funds, vehicles and motorbikes to help them in the effective discharge of duties and expressed regret about the deplorable conditions and constrains under which the staff worked.
"Some of the staff do not even have offices of their own and are forced to perch with staff of other departments." He said the department had only 24 staff handling 37 registries in the 19 districts of the region.