Source: The Vanguard (Abuja)
By Sola Ogundipe
The births of more than 50 per cent of the births of children under-5 in Nigeria remain unregistered, accounting for 11 per cent of unregistered children in West Africa, even as the births of 166 million children under-5 have never been recorded, according to the United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF.
Disclosing this as Nigeria joins the rest of the World in commemorating Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Day, UNICEF Nigeria Country Representative, Peter Hawkins, observed that children in Africa have the lowest birth registration rate in the world, with only 44 per cent of children registered at birth and millions of deaths also go uncounted each year.
The day which addresses structural, normative, and operational challenges to birth registration, is designed to bring attention to birth registration, a one-off event that gives every child a unique identity which will give them better access to vital services like health, education, and social protection.
Hawkins stated: “Every child counts – and we must ensure that we count every child, so that they can best benefit from important services like health and education.