Namibia: Government Buys Death Tracker

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(File photo).

THE government launched the e-death notification system to curb death certificate forgery, and to track future deaths in the country.

Prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila launched the project in Windhoek yesterday.

The project, a collaboration between the health ministry, the Namibian Police, the Namibia Statistics Agency, Unicef and home affairs, seeks to expand the digital civil registration and identification system in the country.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the e-death notification system extends the death registration process by allowing the health ministry and mortuaries which serve as the first official point of contact with the deceased's family to electronically verify identities.

This is to classify the causes of death, and to electronically notify the home affairs ministry when a death had occurred.

"The benefits of this system include the establishment of a legal and digital identity for all, improving access to government services, better controlling fraud, and reducing the cost of collecting population costs," she added.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila further stated that this system will provide identity verification for vital events such as births, marriages and deaths.

She said this system is entirely home-grown, and the first of its kind in Africa.

"The system has been successfully piloted and implemented at 11 of the 13 police mortuaries, and at selected wards at the Katutura State Intermediate Hospital and the Windhoek Central Hospital," she added.

Unicef acting country representative Frauke de Kort said a well-functioning civil and vital registration system records the occurrence and characteristics of critical events, such as births, adoptions, deaths and marriages.

"It is vital to realise individual human and children's rights, for evidence-based national planning, as well as for ensuring national and sustainable development," she noted.

De Kort said birth registrations, for instance, establish the existence of a person under the law, and lays the foundation for safeguarding civil, political, economic and cultural rights.

"With a birth registration, you can prove that you 'exist', and this ensures your right to a nationality, and consequently your claims for your right to health, education and social welfare," she continued.

Death registrations equally help individuals assert their rights.

"This will assist remaining family members in solving inheritance matters and claiming social welfare benefits," De Kort added.

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