By Saidou Baldeh
The director of health promotion and education has disclosed that plans are at an advanced stage for the digitization of a birth registration system for all children born in The Gambia.
Modou Njie made the remarks at the handing over of materials donated by Unicef for digitization of birth registration in The Gambia.
The items donated include computers, embossing machine, printers, laminating machines, super giant photocopier and giant server among others.
“It is important for people to know that birth registration in the Gambia is going to be digitalized. As a result all births should be reported to the nearest health facility for it to be registered,” Njie stated.
He warned that people should not wait “until it is too late to look for a birth certificate for their children.
“We want people to register as early as possible.”
Mr Njie further disclosed that when the new system comes into effect details of previous registrations will be punched into the digital system and anytime an old one is lost it would be retrieved in the system.
Momodou Lamin Jaiteh, the PS at the Ministry of Health, said as the donation of the materials would enhance transformation from ledger or manual registration registering of births and deaths to electronic.
“This will strengthen birth registration system in the country and we want to thank UNICEF for the support toward digitization of birth registration and strengthening the system in the country.”
UNICEF representative Samba N Baldeh said birth registration provides the first legal recognition of the child and is the first right in the convention for the right of children.
According to him, it also facilitates protection from child labor, child marriage, trafficking and sexual exploitation.
He disclosed that the multiple indicator cluster survey noted in 2008 that only 57.9 / of children under 5 years old in the communities had their certificates. We also noticed that almost 20 percent of children who have registered did not have access to their birth certificate.