From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi
The European Union and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has commenced the second phase of 2019 birth certificates exercise in Kebbi State.
The ongoing exercises took place across the 21 wards in Jega Local Government are of the State.
Briefing newsmen while visiting Firjin community wards on Saturday, Jude Inegbebor, who is the UNICEF Child Protection Consultant in Kebbi State and also with the UNICEF Communication Specialist, Rabiu Musa, and his team, said that over 30,000 children under the age of five have been issued the birth certificate in Kebbi.
Our correspondent gathered that the initiative followed the low level of Birth Registration (BR) in Nigeria which was identified by the National Population Commission (NPC).
He said that the EU and UNICEF in November 2018 launched a project to take Birth Registration to homes in Kebbi.
The project, Earmarked Area Demarcation (EAD), has reached thousands of children under the age of five in the state, he said, adding that the children were registered and presented with certificates.
According to him, the house to house exercise which is currently ongoing is meant to ensure that children under the age of five are captured and issued with certificate immediately.
The UNICEF consultant urged the birth registrars to ensure no child was left out in the exercise and to also reach those the programme was meant for.
On the benefits of birth registration to the society, Inegbebor said it “provides data on fertility and mortality disaggregated by age and gender. Provides data on causes of death, relative impact of specific diseases on mortality which can lead to policy interventions.
“Provides data for planning in Health, Education, Social Security, Insurance, etc. Also, provides indicators for monitoring population dynamics and development goals and targets like the SDGs.”
On child survival and development, he said: “Birth registration is critical for child survival and development goals and it is important for health initiatives, particularly.