The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says about 57 percent of Nigerian children under the age of five years, don’t have birth certificate.
The child protection specialist in charge of UNICEF Zone A Field office, Enugu, Victor Atuchukwu, stated this in Awka during the training of 75 health workers from selected health facilities in the 21 local government areas of Anambra State.
He urged the health workers to ensure that all babies born in their areas of coverage were registered at birth as that would assist in social and economic planning in the country. Although he identified lack of adequate manpower as contributing to the problem.
Atuchukwu observed that without birth certificate, time would come when the child would have the need to present a birth certificate only to be discovered that he or she has no official record of full names, place of birth and other vital information. He said that at such a time, their access to basic needs would be under threat, regretting that most of the local government areas in the state record below average in birth registration. “It is the right of every child to have a birth certificate, but many parents do not consider it important.”
Director of the National Population Commission (NPC) in Anambra State, Mr. Joachim Ulasi said: “ In this country, many women give birth and do not care about the registration of that baby until the person has the need to go to bank or seek admission into institutions of learning after 18 years. There is, therefore, need for sensitization of the population on the issue.
Ulasi explained that NPC had concluded plans to digitize the birth registration exercise in the state.