The Births and Deaths Registry registered a total of 261, 630 deaths nationwide in 2013, constituting 25 per cent of its target.

Mr John Yao Agbeko, Acting Registrar of Births and Deaths said the figure could be attributed to certain cultural and religious differences, saying ?people are just not too willing to register their dead, though a lot of information has been passed round for people to do so.

Mr Agbeko said the creation of control cemeteries especially in rural areas by District Assemblies would compel people to register their dead as they would have to obtain burial permits and death certificates before they could bury their loved ones.

He said: ?Births and Deaths registration play a very critical role in planning for the country?s socio-economic development.

Mr Agbeko who was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra observed that a total of 463, 409 new births were registered, representing 66 per cent of the total number of birth certificates issued in 2013.

The Registrar said 2,697 births were registered in the Nkwanta North and South, Krachi East and West, Jasikan and Kpando districts of the Volta Region during the year under review, through the mobile registration in which people within a community were assembled and registered.

In the Eastern Region, 837 births were registered through the mobile registration in the Afram Plains and the Kwahu North districts.

He said last year the Registry was able to organise a sensitisation programme at Sung in the Mion District of the Northern Region to educate the people on the importance of birth and death registration using drama and presentations.

He lauded Plan Ghana and the United Nations International Children?s Fund for their immeasurable support to the Registry over the years.

Mr Agbeko said births and deaths registration was an area where little priority had been given as far as funding was concerned and explained that a person?s bio-data captured by the Registry could be available to agencies such as the Electoral Commission, Social Security and National Insurance Trust and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority.

The Registrar said the target for new birth registration this year was to move from the 66 per cent to 70 per cent adding that, the universally accepted norm for civil registration of birth was 90 per cent. He noted that the 25 per cent registration of the dead would be scaled up to 30 per cent this year.

He urged opinion leaders, civil society organizations and the media to help in raising awareness on the importance of births and deaths registration and appealed to Ghanaians not to wait until they needed a passport before rushing for birth certificates.

Mr Agbeko appealed to the Ministry of Finance to allow the Registry to keep part of its Internally Generated Funds for its administrative work in addition to the provision of a befitting Head Office complex. GNA


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