13 December 2013

Liberia Ranked Second Lowest in Birth Registry - UN Official Discloses

Monrovia — An official of the United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF), has disclosed that Liberia is the second lowest behind Somalia in the world for child birth registration.

Mr. Sheldon Yett, who is the Special Representative of UNICEF to Liberia, said official data shows that only 4% of under-five children are registered in Liberia, the second lowest in the world after Somalia at 3%.

According to Mr. Yett, birth registration is more than a right.

The UN official was speaking at the launch of the universal birth registration and certification of children, on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at the UNICEF head offices in Mamba Point, Monrovia.

"Birth registration recognizes a child and his/her existence ". Birth registration is more than just a right. It's about a child's identity and existence," said the UN official.

He urged the Liberian media to play critical role in educating families about the importance of birth registration and in advocating for relevant law and resources allocation that support birth registration.

For her part, Madam Esther G. Thomas, Coordinator for the Bureau of Vital Statistic at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW), said the Ministry is concerned with children that are not registered at birth.

She noted that birth registration information system is functional in all 15 counties.

"Every county is equipped to register birth and produce birth certificates," Madam Thomas noted.

She pointed out that official records of children are extremely important in developing evidence based and achievable plant that will truly bring a change in the lives of Liberian children.

"The revitalization of the birth registration is a call to action to establish and support a functioning, decentralized community -based universal birth registration system as part of vital registration in Liberia".

She disclosed that by the 2018, the MOHSW coverage will cover the entire country.

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