Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:55

MALAWI: Over 6500 Babies Born in KK in 5 Months, Only Over Half Registered

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25 September 2017 - Nkhotakota — National Registration Bureau (NRB) is concerned that out of 6,439 babies born in Nkhotakota from March to August,2017, only 3,749 which represents 58 percent were registered.

NRB Production Manager Rodrick Langwe expressed the concern in Nkhotakota during an extraordinary full council meeting organised to remind council members on the benefits of birth registration in a country.

He highlighted that the National Registration Act which was passed into law in 2010 and gazetted in 2015 gives the bureau mandate to register births, deaths, marriages and issue national identity cards through mass registration for all citizens of 16 years old and above.

According to Langwe, hospital personnel are empowered to register every birth at a health post while local leaders are entrusted with all births done at homes.

"A fine would be introduced to all parents who fail to register their children. Every child beyond six weeks to 16 years will be registered at the district council at a fee.

"This does not certify women to give births in homes, punishments will follow accordingly," he said.

Langwe echoed that birth registration will help the child to enjoy different rights including in places like schools and hospitals. He added that registration will address child labour, trafficking and abuse issues since the card will show total security or ownership of the child.

NRB official asked community members to help in convincing government to own the programme saying that the programme should not fail after donors stop financing the activities.

Speaking during the same meeting, NRB's Public Relations Officer Norman Fulatira assured the people who registered in the district that they will receive their cards any time this month.

"Those of you who registered would have your cards ready any day this week or next week. Take care of the cards because anyone who misses it will be required to replace it with a fee which is yet to be announced.

"NRB officers will be deployed to all functioning post offices in all districts so that they handle issues of mass registration exercise as it an ongoing exercise," he explained.

According to the NRB PRO 98 per cent of the targeted 213,584 in Nkhotakota have been registered, "We expect to have registered figures increased because registration is still taking place at the Boma."

Meanwhile, over 130 000 children have been registered in Malawi since August 2015.

Currently registration exercise is being supported by funds from Centres from Disease Control (CDC) and United Children's Fund (UNICEF), among others.

By Anjoya Mwanza

Source: allAfrica

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