By Iddi Yire, GNA
Donkorkrom (E/R), Nov. 8, GNA - Mr Martins Adu-Amankwah, the Deputy Eastern Regional Director of the Births and Deaths Registry, has lauded the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for sponsoring the mop-up birth-registration campaign for all children under-one-year in Ghana.
He said the Registry, through the support of donor agencies such as UNICEF, was able to reach the hinterlands, especially remote island communities within the Eastern Region, to register children.
UNICEF defines Birth Registration as the official recording of the birth of a child through an administrative process of the state coordinated by a particular branch of government. It is a permanent and official record of a child’s existence.
Mr Adu-Amankwah made the commendation in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Donkorkrom on the side-lines of the ongoing free birth-registration campaign for children in the Kwahu Afram Plains South and North districts of the Eastern Region.
The week-long exercise, which is under the auspices of UNICEF, seeks to increase the mobilisation of births within the two districts.
Mr Adu-Amankwah said it required a lot of funds to be able to move to the field to capture data.
He said sometimes the births and deaths registration team had to take the risk of traveling in canoes without live jackets to island communities such as Madagascar Island in the Kwahu Afram Plains North District to capture data.
"We lack personnel, there are some districts we don't have staff. These are orphan districts, and as the year ends, we need to hold mop-up exercises, at least to get each child registered," he said.
He said the team had already been to Lower Manya Krobo, Ayensuano, Nsawam-Adoagyiri, Birim North, Akyemansa and Yilo Krobo districts to carry out similar mop-up exercises.
He said to address the gap in birth registration coverage, the Registry had set aside September each year as the birth registration and awareness creation month.
"The Births and Deaths Registry exists to provide accurate, reliable and timely information of all births and deaths occurring within Ghana for the socioeconomic development of the country through registration and certification," Mr Adu-Amankwah said.
He said birth registration was a right of the child but remained the responsibility of the parent and, therefore, appealed to all parents to ensure that the birth of their children were duly captured by the Registry.
He noted that the Eastern Region's target for 2018 was to register at least 96,300 children across all its 26 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies.
UNICEF, in collaboration with the Births and Deaths Registry, would extend the exercise across all the 10 regions of Ghana.
From this month to December, the Births and Deaths Registry with the support of UNICEF, would be reaching communities in 75 districts, which have some of the lowest birth registration rates in the country.
According to UNICEF, currently, more than 30 per cent of children under the age of one in Ghana are not registered.
The objective of the campaign is, therefore, to make more Ghanaians aware that it is free to register a baby before the age of one; that birth registration is accessible to all, and to increase the overall number of children registered in order to reach the planned target of 70 per cent registration in 2018.