About 70 per cent of children born in Kaduna State are without birth registration certificates, the state government has said.
As a result of many children not being registered at birth, government cannot reach them with critical health intervention programmes, the Kaduna State Primary Health Care Development Agency said on Tuesday.
It said currently, only an estimated two million children representing 30 per cent of births were registered in the state.
The agency’s executive secretary, Hadiza Balarabe, disclosed this at the UNICEF/ National Population Commission (NPOPC) Stakeholders Strategic Meeting for Media campaign on Birth Registration held in the state.
Mrs Balarabe said Kaduna has poor coverage of birth registration.
She said getting the actual number of births in the state will help the agency to capture all children in the its services.
“Kaduna State over time has recorded poor coverage in terms of birth registration and we believe that if we review how many children were registered, it will help in providing services that will capture all these children.
“Presently only 30 per cent of births are currently registered in the state which means we have a backlog of 70 per cent of children not being registered.
“I think we will have a common link of what we have now in Kaduna of only 30 percent of our children being adequately covered with potent vaccines,” she said.
Mrs Balarabe said getting all children registered will give the agency the chance to provide needed intervention that will improve their health and survival.
“You can not provide services for somebody you have not planned for. This is one area that will really help us plan well for the intervention that we have for these target group.
“We have recorded quite a high number of death of children from preventable diseases.
“So we think this is an avenue for us to use to provide interventions and get the registered children probably taken care off , knowing fully well that we have these backlog and how we can restrategise in getting any child born in Kaduna and Nigeria by extension registered,” she said.
According to her, with support from UNICEF, the state government through the agency will make significant improvement on the way it provides intervention for vulnerable children under five.
In his remark, Head of Vital Registration Desk at National Population Commission, Umaru Adamu, said a majority of people are ignorant of the commission’s activities.
He also said there are also insufficient number of registration centres at local governments in the state; stating that currently, there are 131 birth registration centres across the state, which is not enough.
Other challenges facing the commission, he said, include “lack of proper awareness because lot of people do not know what we do. Ask them they will tell you that we only organise census, not knowing that we do birth registration, death registration and stillbirth registration.
“As I said, we have insufficient number of registration centres at local government level. We have lopsided distribution of such registration centres,” he said .
He called for more registration centres in the state. Kaduna has 23 Local government areas and he said each needs 10 centres.