By Khadija Aliyu
The united nations children’s fund (UNICEF),says only 54.6% of under five children births, are registered in Kano,compared to 57.3%, at the national level.
The chief,UNICEF field office Kano,Mr.Rahma Rihood Mohammed Farah, made the call during a media dialogue, on birth registration and HPV orientation in Kano state.
According to him, the multi cluster survey (MICS) 2021, indicates that, in Katsina and Jigawa states,under five birth registration is as low as 23.6 percent in Jigawa and 67 percent in Katsina state.
He pointed out that,to ensure that,the birth of every child in Nigeria is registered,UNICEF is supporting the government to strengthen coverage of birth registration, during immunization services in health facilities,capturing children who are under one year of age as soon as they are born.
“during maternal and new-born child health weeks (MNCHWs),and through supplemental immunization activities,using digitalized processes”
The chief of field office said, the national population commission (NPC), is the Nigerian agency assigned the statutory responsibility of documenting vital statistics, which includes registering births of children in Nigeria,and only birth certificates issued by the NPC are recognized by law.
“Birth registration is therefore a significant right which the Nigerian government has covenanted to accord her children “
Mr.Rahma urged media practitioners in Kano, Jigawa and Katsina states, to promote birth registration through their stories,features and programs to achieve the desired objectives,adding that, over the years,UNICEF has built a strong partnership with the media in Nigeria,to communicate key messages on birth registration.
The state Director, National Population Commission (NPC), Isma’il Alhassan explained that,as at October 2023 225,408,163 under five children have been registered in Nigeria.
He noted that, NPC has Introduced a digital processes using modern technology,saying that,UNICEF has provided all the hardware to all local government areas across the country.
Alhaji Isma’il described birth registration as the first identity of a child,saying that Kano has the highest target and has been selected among the six states to test the e-birth registration.
The media dialogue organized by NOA and NPC, in collaboration with UNICEF,witnessed large turn out of journalists from print,broadcast and new media.