As part of measures to address low birth registration in Kaduna State, the National Population Commission (NPopC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on Monday met with stakeholders to strategise on how to increase media campaigns to address the issue.
Speaking to journalists at the one day ‘strategic meeting for media campaign on birth registration in Kaduna State’, Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Primary Healthcare Agency (KDSPHCA), Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, revealed that, only 30% of births are currently registered in the state.
“Presently only 30 percent of births are currently registered in the state. which mean we have a backlog of 70 percent of children not being registered. I think we will have a common link of what we have now in Kaduna of only 30 percent of our children being adequately covered with potent vaccines.
“I think for us at the Agency getting all out children registered and given them an identity will give us the chance to provide needed intervention that will improve their health and that will improve the survival of these children. You can not provide services for somebody you have not planned for.
“As you know Kaduna state over time has recorded poor coverage in terms of birth registration and we believe that if we review how many children were registered it will help in providing services that will capture all these children.” She said.
Dr. Balarabe, noted that, with support from UNICEF the Kaduna state government through the Primary Healthcare Agency will make significant improvement on the way it provide intervention for vulnerable children under five.
“This is one area that will really help us plan well for the intervention that we have to these target group. We have recorded quite a high number of death children from preventable diseases.
“So we think it’s an avenue for us to use to provide interventions and get the registered children probably taken care off knowing fully well that with these backlog how we can re-strategize in getting any child born in Kaduna and Nigeria by extension registered.” She added.
On his part, Head of Vital Registration at National Population Commission Kaduna office, Umaru Adamu, noted one of the greatest challenges facing birth registration in the state, is lopsided distribution and insufficient registration centres.
He explained that a situation where you have only three centres in some Local Government Areas, and ten in few others, calls for serious concern, and that it is a serious challenge facing the Commission, which has greatly affected the level registration.
Adamu, added that, Kaduna with 23 LGAs, has only 131 birth registration, saying, to have a smooth and robust birth registration in the state, each LGA need that number.
According to him, majority of the people are ignorant of the commission’s activities, and so they limit it to only census, not knowing that the do birth registration, death registration and stillbirth registration.
“Other challenges facing the commission includes; lack of proper awareness because lot of people do not know what we do. Ask them they will tell you that we only organize census. He said.
In his brief remarks, Rabiu Musa, UNICEF Kaduna Communication Officer, expressed hope that with the collective effort by UNICEF, in collaboration with National Population Commission, the Media and other stakeholders will help boost child birth registration in the state which is currently as low as 30%.