In 2019, the Birth and Death Registry registered 707,064 infant births (359,532 males and 347,532 females) out of targeted 879,483; representing 80.40 per cent, Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, has stated.
She said within the same period the Registry registered 51,159 deaths (27,480 males and 23,679 females) out of 309,955 as its target representing 17 per cent.
Hajia Mahama made the disclosure on Wednesday in Accra, when she took her turn at the meet the press series to outline the state of affairs at her Ministry.
She said the in 2017, the Registry registered 64 per cent of births against its target whilst for death registration, the achievement was 17 per cent; adding that in 2018 birth registration increased to 70 per cent of target whilst death registration stayed the same at 17 per cent.
The Minister said the new Births and Deaths Registration Act had been passed by Parliament, saying that it seeks to decentralise registration of births and deaths and improve collation of vital information for national development.
She said the new Births and Deaths Registration Act, 2020 seeks to integrate the registration system into the local administration setup.
She noted that metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies (MMDAs) would be responsible for the provision of registration facilities at the district level.
This, she said would ensure the decentralization of the registration machinery and make registration of vital events accessible to the populace with pronounced functionality at the community level (urban, zonal and town councils).
She said it also introduces the active enforcement of the registration system by mandating Registration Assistants appointed by the District Assemblies, to inspect registration records at the household level within the electoral areas of the district.
Hajia Mahama said it deals with the registration of names 15(3)(4) and (5) provides for the development of standard forms for the registration of names as distinct from prefixes and suffixes.
She intimated that it further enjoins the Registry to make publications of prohibited prefixes and suffixes that may not enter the civil registration system.
She said it also deals with information and data sharing with reference to the Data Protection Act, 2012(Act 843).
Under this protocol there will be a digital interface between the Births and Deaths Registry and institutions like the National Identification Authority (NIA), the National Health Insurance Agency (NHIA), the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS),” she said.
“Provides for the generation of Community Population registers to breed demographic data for the purposes of development planning at the district level.”
She said it addresses the issue of the registration of children born under surrogacy arrangement.
Furthermore, it addresses the requirement for the registration of all morgues, funeral homes, burial grounds and crematoriums by the District Assembly.
The Minister said the Act introduces enforcement of registration system by mandating Registration Officers to inspect registration records at the household level within the electoral areas of the district.
She noted that it introduces the concept of notification and identifies primary notifiers of vital events to include persons in charge of health facilities where births/deaths occur; Traditional Birth Attendants and managers of educational institutions (pre-school and basic schools).
Hajia Mahama said the Act empowers District Assemblies to register all morgues, funeral homes, burial grounds and crematoriums within its jurisdiction.