By Adi Angyu
The Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar has flag-off massive Birth Registration campaign of children under-five years in the state.
The governor directed all Primary Healthcare Centre facilities and other government hospitals to assign dedicated desk officers to registration of births in the state.
He said other relevant state government agencies and departments are to key in to the initiative.
“The low level of birth registration in Bauchi state is indeed an issue of concern to the government, hence the government’s resolve to cooperate with all agencies and development partners to ensure that this trend is reversed,” he said.
Governor Abubakar said the state government understands the importance of this exercise which will impact on the lives of the children and youths who constitute the future of the state.
He called on all parents, care-givers, traditional and religious leaders, as well as other opinion leaders to cooperate with the registrars that will be going from house-to-house for the 10-days set aside for that purpose.
The Chief of UNICEF Bauchi Field Office, Dr Abdullahi Kaikai, said with funding supports from the European Union, integrating birth registration with the healthcare delivery system as the practical approach in which UNICEF, the National Population Commission (NPC),
the state Ministry of Health and the state Primary Health Care Development Agency are collaborating to ensure that increase birth registration coverage can be attained and sustained in the state.
He recalled that in 2014, about 1, 292 health workers in various health facilities across the state have been trained on birth registration process so that they can support the conduct of birth registration efforts in the various health facilities in the State.
Dr Kaikai said in spite of the support garnered so far and foundation strengthening efforts, the NPC in the state needs a lot of intensive efforts to register thousands of children being missed both at the health facilities and in marginalized, hard to reach and rural communities.
He stressed the need for accurate data for planning purposes, especially as it concerns health, education and the provision of amenities.
The NPC Federal Commissioner in the state, Alhaji Hassan Bashir, said the need for conducting the exercise in the state arose because it was observed that level of birth registration in the state, especially children under 5-years was very low, which he said is least in the Northeast sub-region, standing at about 25 per cent of the expected number.
The federal commissioner said such interventions have taken place in Adamawa and Kebbi states which raised the level of registration to about 70 per cent.