The executive secretary of Kaduna State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Hajiya Hadiza A. Balarabe, on Tuesday disclosed that only 30 percent of babies born in the state are currently registered in the state, while the remaining 70 percent are unregistered.
She said this at a one-day stakeholders’ strategic meeting on birth registration organised by National Population Commission with support from UNICEF in Kaduna state.
She blamed the low birth registration for the poor coverage of routine immunisation as only 30 percent of under-five children are being covered in the state because they are the only ones registered and planned for.
“Kaduna state over time has recorded poor coverage in terms of birth registration and we believe that if we review the number of children that are registered, it will help in providing services that will capture all of them on interventions for their survival and development.
“Getting children registered gives them identity and also helps government to provide the needed interventions that will improve their health status and chances of survival. You cannot provide services for somebody you have not planned for,” she said.
“We have recorded a high rate of infant and child mortality from preventable diseases. So, there is need for massive awareness campaign to parents/guardians and care givers on the importance of birth registration because when a child is not covered by immunisation, it gives room for vulnerability, which is capable of putting other children at risk,” she said.
Hajiya Balarabe noted that with support from UNICEF, the state government through the Primary Healthcare Agency will make significant improvement on birth registration to provide interventions for vulnerable children under five.
Earlier, the Head of Vital Registration at NPC, Kaduna State Office, Malam Umaru Adamu, identified ignorance and inadequate registration centres as factors responsible for poor birth registration in the state. He said that there are insufficient registration centres in the state.
According to him, there are only 131 registration centres across the 23 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state; suggesting that at least 10 centres per LGA totalling 230 centres are required to ensure effective birth, death and still-birth registration.