Mr Somalia Mohammed, a retired officer of the Birth and Death Registry (BDR) in the Bolgatanga Municipality of the Upper East Region, says efficient registering of births and deaths is important for socio economic development of the country.
He said many people did not attach seriousness to registry of deaths until one required the certificate for the purpose of following up on benefits of a deceased family member.
Mr Mohammed, speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga said there were instances when an orphan would have to proof the death of a parent before getting some assistance, and, therefore, families should not only start looking for one when such needs arise.
He said the state was a key recipient of such data with regards to gathering information on some causes of deaths, adding, “Government needs to know the cause of certain ailments and deaths and that data can inform it to put in interventions to curb the incidents. The data would also help with timely statistics for planning purposes.”
He suggested that populous municipalities and districts be sectionalised by the Births and Deaths Registry to help in the collation of such data especially in the case of Muslims who had to be buried immediately after death. The BDR officer or volunteer he said would be readily available in the community to help in accessing a burial permit.
On birth registry, he stressed that births must first be registered even before death and all children zero to four years in Ghana should be registered.
The BDR was established by Act 301 of 1965, and was replaced by Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 2020(Act 1027) within the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to handle and develop the births and deaths registration system in Ghana with core mandate to provide accurate timely and reliable information on all births and deaths accruing within Ghana through certification for socio economic development of the country.
Mr Desmond Nana Amponsah, an Assistant Information Technology (IT) and Information Manager (IM) at the Bolgatanga Health Centre, said there had been improvement in the birth registry.
The improvement achieved has been made possible through weekly sensitisation programmes at the ante-natal clinics.
He noted that staff were always ready to make follow up to ensure the babies were registered and added that there were still challenges with deaths registration since communities in rural areas buried without permit.
He said the Bolgatanga Municipal annual target for birth registration was 32,021 for 2022 and noted that 14,269 births had been registered by June.
Among other challenges, the IT Officer mentioned rains disrupting operations especially when travelling to provide such services.
A new app system he said had been developed in collating information on registered births, which he described as quicker and faster and urged families to register their babies when they are born.
Source: Ghana News Agency