The Birth and Death Registry System is to be computerised before the end of the year to take it out of its manual operation since 1912.
Kingsley Asare Addo Senior Assistant Registrar of Birth and Death Registry announcing this on Tuesday, April 3, 2004, said, "The registry has been operating manually since 1912 and we hope to put our records in data base".
Mr. Addo noted that preparations were underway to get the Registry into a modern state facility that would prevent multiple registrations as it affected the quality of data.
He noted that it was not safe to keep the nations, vital record on paper and the Registry's vault had been choked with records and there was no more space to allocate registers that came from the other regions.
Mr Addo also noted that there had been a downward trend in birth registration due to inadequate financial support since assistance was no longer coming from the UNICEF and Plan Ghana.
He said in the year 2000 only 31 per cent of newly born babies were registered, falling to 27 per cent in 2001 and to an all time low of around 17 per cent in 2002.
He said due to some remedial intervention on the part of the Registry of Birth and Death, the figure rose slightly to 28 per cent in 2003.
Due to more intense measures from supporting partners such as Plan Ghana and UNICEF the figure rose from 50 per cent in 2004 to 67 per cent and falling again to 54 per cent in 2006.
Mr Addo attributed the severe set back to lack of motivation, logistics, inadequate funding and staffing and lack of monitoring and supervision of programmes.
He said birth registration had traditionally depended wholly on government funding.
Inadequate provision of funds by government therefore had served as a major challenge to the sustainability of the registration system as well as unavailability of a number of facilities ranging from office accommodation, vehicles, stationary and equipment impinges negatively on the performance of the registry.
Additionally, lack of motivation on the part of the populace to register their births cannot be discounted.
Mr Addo said, "The problem is pervasive in the rural areas where poverty, ignorance and the absence of adequate registration facilitates have contributed immensely to this state of affairs."
He said the total number of staff, their level of training and remuneration posed a major constraint on the efficient operation of the registration machinery.
Currently the Registry has 343 personnel, which included non-registration staff operating in centres nationwide.
This number is supposed to serve the total population of over eighteen million persons in Ghana.
Mr Addo noted that out of the 16,000 communities in the country only 15 communities have been captured under the community population register scheme which was designed to enhance the registration of birth and death at the community levels.
Community population scheme is a system of data collection in which details of names, sex, date of birth, educational level, marital status and other important personnel information of person's residing in the community are recorded and regularly updated with the occurrence of birth, deaths and movements.