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Ghana unveils plan to assign digital IDs to newborns

Looking to link national ID, health, birth and death records
Ghana unveils plan to assign digital IDs to newborns
 

As a continuation of the national digital transformation agenda in the health sector, pregnant women in Ghana will soon be digitally monitored throughout their pregnancy cycle and have national digital IDs issued to their children when they are eventually born, reports Modern Ghana.

This announcement is attributed to Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia who was speaking a few days ago at a ceremony to kick start activities marking the 50th anniversary celebration of the Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS) at the University of Ghana, Legon.

According to VP Bawumia, the move, which will allow for the proper follow-up of all pregnant women, will help the government in policy formulation and advance the national digital ID issuance drive at all levels.

Per the report, this novelty has been enabled by the ongoing efforts to harmonize data held by institutions including the National Identification Authority (NIA), the Ghana Health Service, the Birth and Deaths Registry, the Ghana Statistical Service, and the Ghana Police Service.

The exact date when the service will begin operation is not yet known but Modern Ghana indicates that the Ghana Health Service will receive 13,000 tablets for the digital tracking process from the Ghana Statistical Service. The tablets were said to have been used recently during the national population and housing census.

As Bawumia explains, the system will enable the tracking of pregnant women from prenatal through the postpartum period, and the records of the new born will automatically be sent to the Births and Deaths Registry and the National Identification Authority for the issuance of a national ID number without delay.

“Starting sometime this year, we are quite advanced. The Ghana Health Service will announce the exact start date. We will have that linkage between the NIA, the Ghana Health Service, and the Statistical Service because they need that data of who has died, and who has been born… The Police also record a lot of deaths on our roads and other places. This is why they are also linked into the system so that they can also report, so that we have a comprehensive data. This is a major new system that is coming, and it will help Ghana going forward.” Bawumia is quoted as saying.

Universal birth registration is a component of United National Sustainable Development Goal 16.9, but will need to accelerate significantly to meet the 2030 goal.

Ghana has been in the news in the last couple of days following a misunderstanding that greeted the confirmation by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) of the Ghana Card — the country’s national ID card — as compliant with its specifications for inclusion in the public key directory, along with passports.

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