In an effort to strengthening the health sector of Liberia and making sure every here child obtain birth certificate, the Ministry of Health has taken celebration for the African Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Day to West Point Township, a densely populated community in Monrovia, registering birth statistics of children there.
According to health officials, the conduct of statistics on African Civil Registration will help parents to properly identify their children. This year’s celebration was held under the theme, “For every child a legal identity.”
Welcoming officials of the ministry to the township, West Point Commissioner William C. Wea expressed joy for the launch of vital statistics campaign in the township.
I strongly believe that today is not only a historical day in our country, evidence is the fact that health authorities have begun the launch of this process at the time I’m in the township, which brings joy to me. I’m glad we the people of West Point are ready for this process to begin in our district”, Commissioner Wea said.
Giving the historicity of the day, Assistant Health Minister for Statistics, Sanford Wesseh said August 10th each year is declared as African Civil Registration and Vital Statistics day across Africa.
He said the day was declared officially at the Fourth Conference of African Ministers Responsible for Civil Registration in December 2017 in Mauritina.
Minister Sanford added that the first Africa CRVS day was commemorated on August 10, 2018, under the theme ” Birth Certificate for all: fundamental for protecting human rights and promoting inclusion.”
He said the theme reflects that birth registration certificate, as a legal document that provides proof of age, helps to prevent violation of child rights, including child marriage, child labor, and trafficking, including use of child soldiers, particularly in emergencies.
The theme shows Africa, particularly Liberia’s commitment to attaining indicator 16.9.1 on “Proportion of children under 5 years whose births have been registered with a civil authority” and indicator 17.19.2 on “Increase proportion of countries that have achieved 100 percent birth registration and 80 percent death registration.
He said government has produced documentary evident of events thru press statements, presidential proclamations, photographs and speeches, among others, noting that Liberia celebrated its first CRVS day at the JFK Medical Center in Monrovia under the theme “My Birth Certificate, My identity.”
Speaking also, UNICEF Country Director Ms. Laula Gad said, UNICEF is making sure that every child has birth registration certificate and educate parents on the importance of the day.
“We want to thank you for showing interest, we will work with you to ensure that children have the necessary documents”, Madam Gad said.
Liberia’s Deputy Minister of Health A .Vaifee Tulay explained that the 2020 CRVS theme is a reflection of millions of children in Africa, who do not have legal identity, and as a result, many are denied their rightful inheritance, while others some instances, are forced into early marriages or are vulnerable to sexual abuse, violence and trafficking.
“As we celebrate the CRVS day, I want to remind everyone present here today that legal identity of people begins with the registration of a child’s birth, which is fundamental human rights”, Minister Tulay underscored.
“As a country, we must not only embrace the ‘no name campaign’ but we must commit ourselves to this campaign to ensure that every child born in the borders of our country has a legal identity.”
Minister Tulay added that over the last three years, Liberia with support from international partners, including the World Bank, WHO, and UNICEF has made great strides to increasing access to birth registration and provide legal identity to children in the country.
By Lewis S. Teh–Editing by Jonathan Browne