By Alex Uangbaoje, Birnin Kebbi
Following the low level of Birth Registration (BR) in Nigeria, as identified by the National Population Commission (NPopC), the European Union (EU), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in November 2018 launched a project to take BR to homes in Kebbi State.
The project, Earmarked Area Demarcation (EAD), exercise has reached thousands of children under the age of five in the state with Birth Registration and also presented them with certificates, according to Jude Inegbebor, UNICEF Child Protection Consultant in Kebbi, under Sokoto Field Office.
Jude, who spoke with journalists in Firjin Community, Jega Local Government Area of the state when UNICEF Communication Specialist, Rabiu Musa, led a team of media monitors to the LGA, revealed that already over 30,000 children under 5, have been registered and issued with their certificates of birth through the exercise.
According to him, the house to house exercise which is currently ongoing, is meant to ensure that any child under 5 who is not registered will be captured and issued with certificate immediately.
While addressing the registrars, the UNICEF consultant, urged them to ensure no child is left out in the exercise and to also be focused and committed in carrying out their assigned responsibility so as to reach those the programme is meant for and issue them with certificate adequately.
On the benefits of BR to the society and health care initiatives, Jude, said it “provides data on fertility and mortality disaggregated by age and gender. Provides data on causes of death, relative impact of specific diseases on mortality which can lead to policy interventions.
“Provides data for planning in Health, Education, Social Security, Insurance, etc. Also, provides indicators for monitoring population dynamics and development goals and targets like the SDGs.”
On child survival and development, He added, “Birth registration is critical for child survival and development goals and is important for health initiatives, particularly: Counting and planning for health interventions, Accurate timing of health events including vaccination.
BR activities increase demand for health interventions (e.g. immunization days).
Also speaking, Khadijat Ibrahim, Supervisor, Vital Basic Registration in the Ward, said the house to house exercise have been going on smoothly and adequately with a lot of results to show for it.
“This exercise is a boaster to what we are doing in the state, registrars are sent to designated locations in various parts of the state. Jega, is the focus in this phase and this is the third LGA implementing this exercise.” She explained.