Statistics from the Birth and Death Registry in Ghana indicates that more than 4 (four) out of 10 (ten) children births in hospital across the country are not registered at birth. About 15% of the registered children below the age of five do not own a birth certificate.
According to the BDR, birth registration rates in Ghana has stagnated over the past few years a bottleneck study by UNICEF Ghana in 2013 indicated that birth registration coverage rate has not gone beyond 65 percent in Ghana since 2009.
This laps is attributed to the over reliance on paper documentation which causes major delays in the registration process and inadequate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure contributed to poor birth registration rates in our health centers across the country.
Tigo is partnering with UNICEF Ghana and Births and Deaths Registry (BDR) to develop an Automated Birth Registration System to make birth registration process widely accessible in the country.
The partnership showcasesthe role mobile providers can play in addressing a pressing social need through the application of their technology and expertise, and investing in infrastructure and innovation are crucial drivers of economic growth and development.
The Automated Birth Registration system seeks to give every child the right to a legal identity and to protect the country’s future generation from social risks, help the Registry attain its goal of achieving a 90 percent birth registration coverage rate by end of 2017, migrate the birth registration process from manual to a seamless digital process, etc.
The system is an Android App which operates in both offline and online mode ensuring that birth information can be captured in real time. Tablets use the mobile app to collect data related to the child’s name, gender, date of birth and other family details, which are then sent to the central database managed by the Births and Deaths Registry.
Once received, the data is stored and an automated response is sent to the Births and Deaths Registry official on the field, confirming that a certificate can be issued. Whereas data collected through the paper-based system takes six months to be registered in the central system, the mobile registration process achieves this in less than two minutes.
The system has a real-time birth registration performance check without waiting for months until the data reaches the Head office. With real-time data at hands, it also made it possible to check the performance by various level of registries- community, district and regional levels. Therefore, it enables Head office and regional offices to make a follow-up plan to address challenges in lower performing areas, and encourage regions to make the best efforts.