By Iddi Yire, GNA
Tease (E/R), Nov. 7, GNA - The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), in partnership with the Births and Deaths Registry, has launched a week-long free birth-registration campaign for children in the Kwahu Afram Plains South and North districts of the Eastern Region.
The exercise, which was launched at Tease, the Kwahu Afram Plains South District Capital, covers children from zero to 12 months.
It seeks to increase the mobilisation of births within the two districts.
UNICEF, in collaboration with the Births and Deaths Registry, would extend the exercise to all the 10 regions of Ghana.
From this month to December, the Registry, with the support of UNICEF, will reach 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 campaign is, therefore, to make more Ghanaians aware that it is free to register a baby before the age of one; and that birth registration is accessible to all, to help increase the overall number of children registered to reach the 70 per cent target of 2018.
Ms Hilda Mensah, a Child Protection Specialist of UNICEF Ghana, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the mop-up births registration exercise was to provide access to parents to register their children before age one.
She said it was also intended to ensure that the children had the right to identity as well as meet the 70 per cent target.
Mr Martins Adu-Amankwah, the Deputy Eastern Regional Director of the Births and Deaths Registry, lauded UNICEF for sponsoring the mop-up exercise.
He said with the support of UNICEF the Registry was able to reach the hinterlands, especially remote island communities within the Eastern Region, to register the children.
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.
Mr Adu-Amankwah said birth registration was a right of the child but remained the responsibility of the parent.
He noted that the Region targets to register 96,300 children for 2018 across all its 26 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies.
Mr Anthony Kwadzo Blubo, the Eastern Regional Registration Officer, said the target was to cover 4,300 children in the two districts.
He said birth registration played a crucial role in the nation's socioeconomic development and urged parents take advantage of the opportunity to register their children.