Source: Ethiopian Herald
By Mengisteab Teshome
The compilation of vital statistics from civil registration records of births and deaths is the second oldest demographic statistics system in existence. Vital statistics generated from civil registration systems is the conventional data source in producing timely, continuous and comprehensive population dynamics information. The majority of African countries do not have adequate civil registration and vital statistics systems. Hence they are unable to produce current and continuous fertility and mortality statistics, including causes of death statistics at national and sub-national levels. Lack of adequate vital statistics system is affecting all sectors of statistics as most statistical measures and indicators require continuously updated and reliable population estimates and projections, including MDG as well as SDGs measurement and monitoring undertakings.
Ethiopia, the land of origin, has no a well organized vital events registration systems and organized institutions in charge of the task. The service was delivered only following the request of costumers.
To be specific until recently, the biggest challenge facing civil registration in Ethiopia was the absence of legal framework governing the establishment and operation of a conventional system of registration of vital events. As a result, unconventional and uncoordinated practices of registration and issuance of certificates for vital events have information gaps. To date, only less than ten per cent of children under five get their births registered in Ethiopia making the country’s birth registration rate the lowest in the world, much lower than the Sub Saharan African countries average of 30 per cent in 2000. Similarly, the statistics generated from such grossly incomplete systems are highly unrepresentative and thus difficult to derive meaningful population estimates from them.
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