The Births and deaths Registry Unit of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in collaboration with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has began a two-week Mini-births registration campaign for Children from 0-5years , in Kombo South, Central and North districts. The campaign which started on 17 November will end on 1st December 2012.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Observer at the Sukuta Health Centre, Lamin Fatty deputy Registrar of births and deaths at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, stated that the ultimate aim of the campaign is to ensurethat the Ministry have universal registration of all Children born in The Gambia particularly Children from 0-5years noting that this is the strategy of the Ministry of Health and UNICEF.
He pointed out that 30 registration teams have been deployed to the various communities where the exercise is been conducted to do the registration exercise adding that the teams would move from Community to Community and all legible Children will be register within West Coast Region and issued with a birth Certificate on the spot.
He urged parents their Children and keep the Certificates save adding that during the course of the campaign radio sensitization programmes will also be conducted. He said the registration is free and the requirement for the registration is that one needs to have an authentic Clinic card, Father's Identity Card or an attestation from a village Alkalo. He noted that such campaigns has been previously conducted in the Upper River Region , Kombo East and the Fonis.
Fatty added that the aim of the exercise is to make sure that Children under five are registered and issued with a birth certificate so as to improve the National registration rate in the Country which stands at 52.5% and also to serve as a right base document. He said The Gambia is a signatory to the Convention on the right of the Child( CRC) noting that registration helps the identity of the Child, establish the paternal and Nationality of the Child adding that it also serve as a protecting tool from abuse, trafficking, exploitation and child labour and also avoid the recruitment of under age into the Army.
He further stated that registration helps in the attainment of Juvenile justice when the Child is in conflict with the law and also helps in inheritance, access to education and health care and also in obtaining other National documents. He noted that all the teams deployed will be supervise to ensure that the work is properly administer. He thanked UNICEF for the Funding of the Campaign and call on all parents to make the work of the teams smooth.