UNICEF faults Nigeria on birth registration data
The United Nations Children Education Fund has faulted Nigeria’s birth registration processes as it recently released a data showing that 62 per cent of Nigerian children were born outside health facilities by traditional birth attendants between 2008 and 2013.
Sharon Oladiji, one of UNICEF’s Child Protection Specialists during the opening ceremony of a two-day media dialogue for journalists on birth registration held in Kano said the refusal of women to access modern health facilities was a major problem in birth registration.
“In 2016, the total number of registered births under the age of one was 2,519,071, which translated to 51 per cent of the estimated births in the country.
“But, in 2017, the figure came down to 7,066 registered births, out of the 4,758,812 expected under one year. It is, therefore, worrisome that in 2018 the performance of birth registration is only 32 per cent. This also shows that all the states have low registration. It is also traceable to some limitations, which must be urgently addressed.
“It is always difficult for government to know the number of schools to be built, projects to undertake and health workers to employ when they do not know the number of births registered in Nigeria,” she said.
Also at the event, Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed in his remarks said the low level or apparent lack of awareness on the importance of birth registration has resulted in the lack of planning for children and the improper capturing of this important segment of our society in developmental and social processes that affect them.
Represented by the Head of Advocacy in CRIB, Olumide Osanyipeju, the minister said workable solutions to the general weak knowledge can begin right from the homes and communities and through a widespread media campaign aimed at creating awareness at all levels of governance and civil society.