From Yahaya Audu, Bauchi
Bauchi State state government in collaboration with the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) and the National Population Commission ( NPC) have flagged of a massive birth registration campaign in Bauchi State.
Flagging off the ceremony yesterday, Governor Mohammed Abubakar directed all primary healthcare facilities and government hospitals in the state to establish desk officer dedicated to registration of birth.
He explained that all relevant state government agencies and departments are to key into the initiative of UNICEF Maternal, New born and Child health and Nutrition (MNCHN) project to ensure that henceforth all births in the state are registered and appropriate certificate issued.
He therefore called on all parents, caregivers, traditional and religious leaders, as well as opinion leaders to cooperate with the registrars that will go from house to house in the next ten days from 6th to 16th July, 2017 during the campaign period to register all children under 5 years.
In his welcome address at the flag off ceremony the NPC Federal Commissioner, Alhaji Hassan Bashir said that the essence of the campaign was to address the low level of birth registration of children between 0 to five years in the state.
“The figure is least in the North East sub region standing at about 25% of expected number. Such intervention have taken place in 2 other states (Adamawa and Kebbi States) and since then, the level of registration in those states have really boosted to about 70%.
He said that the exercise will also help in providing an accurate data for proper policies planning by the state and federal governments in the areas of health, education and provision of social amenities.
The NPC Federal commissioner therefore commended Bauchi State government for providing office accommodation for the commission to carry out the exercise.
In his remarks, Dr. Abdulai KaiKai Chief of UNICEF Bauchi Field Office said that the exercise which is being funded by the European Union is a collaborative effort involving UNICEF, the National Population Commission ( NPC) , the Bauchi State Ministry of Health and the Primary Healthcare Development Agency.
He added that the exercise is a practical approach to ensure increase in birth registration coverage in the state.
“As of January 2014, about 1,292 health workers in various health facilities across Bauchi State have been trained on birth registration process so that they can support conduct of birth registration efforts in the various health facilities in the state.
“However, in spite of the support garnered so far and foundation strengthening efforts, the National Population Commission in Bauchi State needs a lot of intensive effort to register thousands of children being missed both at the health facilities and in marginalised, hard to reach rural and very rural communities,”he said.