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Nigeria, Rwanda progress in national childbirth registration programs

Nigeria, Rwanda progress in national childbirth registration programs
 

Countries around the world appear to be making some progress on their efforts of meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 16.9 which advocates legal identity for all, including birth registrations, by 2030.

Among the countries reporting gains toward the birth registration segment of the goal are Nigeria and Rwanda, where recent statistics show improvements in the number of children entered into their respective civil registries, which are foundational databases for legal identity.

In Nigeria, findings from a recent survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show that 60 percent of all children born in the country are now registered at birth. In Rwanda, latest figures put the childbirth registration situation at 84.2 percent and the country hopes for 100 percent birth registration coverage by the end of the year.

Nigeria’s 2021 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, MICS, which was launched last month by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, notes that there has been improvement in the welfare of Nigerian children not only in birth registration but in different areas, including infant mortality and child marriages which have seen significant drops, reports Vanguard.

The MICS carried out with the assistance of UNICEF provides critical data which will help the Nigerian government in the monitoring of human development indicators for child policies.

“The 2021 Nigeria MICS-NICS report provides evidence-based data for all key stakeholders to prioritize quality services for children and women with higher efficiency and effectiveness,” said Statistician-General of the Federation and CEO of the NBS Prince Adeyemi Adeniran, as quoted by Vanguard.

Improvement in childbirth certainly comes as good news for Nigeria, which is in the process of implementing a digital ID system and seeks to issue 148 million citizens a legal identity by 2024.

Rwanda targets 100 percent childbirth registration by year-end

The government of Rwanda is keen on attaining its main objective as outlined in its Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) strategy 2017-2022, which is to ensure universal birth registration for all newborns in the country by the end of this year.

New Times reports that this ambition was reiterated early last month by the country’s ICT and Innovation minister Paula Ingabire during an event to mark the 5th edition of the African Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Day.

Rwanda launched a digital birth registry in 2020.

“We have a target to reach 100 percent of birth registrations in the whole country. Registering children helps them have an identity and facilitates them to access all services in the country with ease,” New Times quotes the minister as saying.

The article quotes Mireille Batamuliza, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, as underlining the importance of birth registration for children, saying it will help avoid instances where children are denied certain services because they cannot be legally recognized.

In the past, UNICEF has reported marked improvement in birth registrations worldwide, but the UN body believes greater effort is needed to meet the SDG 16.9 target.

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