Adequate strides have been made in addressing the issue of the late registration of births in some of the country's regions, the Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Rosalia Nghidinwa, said on Thursday.
The minister, who spoke at a workshop organised for officials of the ministry's department of civil registration, yesterday said the department has in the past five years achieved "major results".
She said more than 40 offices opened countrywide. Nghidinwa went on to highlight that 60 percent of all children under the age of five were registered on time compared to 31 percent in 2008.
"We have decentralised the offices up to the hospital level and babies are registered with birth certificates soon after birth," remarked Nghidinwa.
She urged officials who travelled from the country's different regions to maintain the momentum so that come 2015, the country would have done away completely with the late registration of births.
Despite the achievement, Nghidinwa confessed that some regions, notably the Kavango and Caprivi regions are still rated low insofar as the registration of births concerned.
The available data is for the period of 2008 to 2011. The Kavango and Caprivi regions both scored 39 percent in the registration of births.
The lack of funds for staff members to reach harder to reach areas is a contributing factor to the low ranking, explained Nghidinwa.
She added that babies who are not named by the time of leaving hospitals after birth, also account for the low score. The southern regions and the Khomas Region scored above 90 percent in the registration of births, said the minister.
"All regions under 50 percent should pull up their socks to stra-tegise on how they can reach more than 50 percent by the end of the year," Nghidinwa told the officials.
She also revealed that the best region in the country would be granted recognition at the end of this year. "I promise, just work hard, phase out late registrations," she told the officials who broke out into spontaneous applause.
The department of civil registrations is challenged by the lack of sufficient funds to implement outreach programmes, the high rate of late registrations, uncollected identity documents and ignorance on the part of communities to register their children on time, said Nghidinwa.
The workshop, which started on Monday ends today.