Births and Death Registry launches book for maternal, child record

The Births and Deaths Registry has launched and handed over the revised combined Maternal and Child Health Record Books to the Ghana Health Service.

The book simplifies and streamlines the registration process for birth certificates to be issued timeously, leading to the acquisition of a Ghana National Identification Number at birth.

The revised book also caters for notification of births and foetal deaths to ensure the country is able to capture such data for national planning and socio-economic development.

A Senior Presidential Advisor, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, announced this at the launch and handover ceremony in Dodowa in the Greater Accra Region last Friday. The occasion was also used to showcase the sensitisation materials that will be used in media engagement, sensitisation and public education from June.

Mr Osafo-Marfo said through the collaborative effort of the Births and Deaths Registry and the Ghana Health Service under the Public Sector Reform for Results Project, nearly 1.2 million copies of the revised booklet had been produced.

“This newly revised booklet has become the new standard that will continue to be produced to serve the original intended purposes of pre- and post-natal documentations, as well as provide for the notification of births and foetal deaths in the country,” he added.

The initial book, a home-based health record for mothers, newborns and children, contained essential information to promote and maintain their health and those of their family members only.

Mr Osafo-Marfo said with the new book, it was hoped that the Births and Deaths Registry would follow up to ensure that every birth and foetal death were registered across all metropolises, municipalities and districts in the country.

He said once this was meticulously followed, it should lead to universal coverage for births registration as envisioned by the registry in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goal 16.9, as well as establishing a strong baseline for the registration of foetal deaths.

He commended the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, saying his open-door policy had culminated in the product that was expected to propel the registration of births and deaths in the country to a new level.

He expressed gratitude to the Registrar of Births and Deaths for following through with the process to ensure that the collaboration yielded such outcome. The Registrar of the Births and Deaths, Henrietta Lamptey, said the registration of foetal deaths was critical for socio-economic development.

“The statistics derived from the data influence national developmental planning and programming. It is, therefore, important to get the information right to facilitate effective public policy development and decision-making,” she added.

She said the registry acknowledged the important role of citizens in births and deaths registration, and that it was the reason the Ghana Health Service had systems in place to allow every mother to access health facilities for pre- and post-natal services.

These systems, Ms Lamptey explained, were equally important for ensuring that every child was registered and legally identified immediately after birth, stressing that where death occurred, equal importance should be attached to the registration.

The health record books are to facilitate the registration process to enable the citizens to play their roles effectively. Ms Lamptey announced that through the support of the World Bank, the registry had also developed sensitisation materials for public education to enable the public to appreciate the critical role they played in births and deaths registration, particularly foetal deaths.

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