The Births and Deaths Registry (BDR) has commenced a mobile mass registration exercise and public sensitisation on births and deaths registration to help improve the country’s civil registration and vital statistics systems.
The exercise, which is a collaborative effort between the registry and the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD), is expected to register and issue birth certificates to children between the ages of zero and 12 months in 261 districts across the country.
It will also educate the public on the importance of registering deceased persons.
To help speed up the data collection process, the registry was presented with eight Toyota Hilux vehicles and 2,000 Samsung tablets.
The tablets will, subsequently, be distributed among BDR offices, while the newly created regions, as well as the Statistics and the Monitoring units at the BDR Head Office will each receive one vehicle.
The logistical support was offered by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), under its Harmonising and Improving Statistics in West Africa Project (HISWAP), which is being funded by the World Bank.
During the launch of the exercise in Accra yesterday, the Minister of LGDRD, Dan Kwaku Botwe, said awareness and general understanding of births and deaths registration was pivotal in government’s planning and development of socio-economic programmes.
In furtherance of the aforementioned, he said, steps were also being taken to integrate the registration systems with relevant government agencies to improve on the collation of administrative data.
The minister said the newly acquired logistics would improve statistics, not only in birth registration but also in death registration.
In 2021, he said, 80 per cent of births and 17 per cent deaths were registered.
One of the greatest constraints in the records system, Mr Botwe said, was the minimal importance attached to death registration.
“Section 32 subsection 4 of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 2020 (1027) requires that a person who conducts a burial shall inspect the death certificate and burial permit before proceeding with the burial. It is, therefore, necessary for all to comply,” he said.
He encouraged the management and staff of the BDR to continue to work hard to create a safe and friendly environment for the operations.
He commended the registry in its effort to automate its operations and services to the public by piloting an online payment portal on Ghana.gov and also establishing a call centre to respond to public enquiries.
The acting Registrar of Births and Deaths, Henrietta Lamptey, said since the beginning of this year, the registry had embarked on certain initiatives, among them being the relocation of the national office.
“The registry has now been successfully relocated to the third floor of NALAG House, after over 50 years of its operation in a wooden structure on the Rivera Beach Drive in Accra,” she said.
The relocation, she said, offered the registry an opportunity to assess its operations and services to the public through the use of technology, in line with the government's digital transformation agenda.
In view of that, she said, it had introduced a call centre at the client service unit and a portal to afford an online payment platform on Ghana.gov public direct access to its services.
Furthermore, she said, measures to share relevant data with stakeholders and integrate the registry's system to improve the administrative data eco-system were also in progress, being spearheaded by the Office of the Vice-President.
Furtherance to improving the data quality and coverage levels on births and deaths registration, she said, the registry was strengthening its partnership with the National Identification Authority, the GSS, the Ghana Health Service, the National Health Insurance Scheme and metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies.