The National Populations Commission (NPC) is currently worried over the low registration of birth as recent data has revealed that in the past four months, birth registration has dropped dismally.
The Niger State Director of the National Populations Commission (NPC), Mallam Uthman Baba who spoke with The Nation in Minna stated that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting birth registration in the state.
According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic which came with lock-down and restriction of movement reduced the efforts the Commission had made in birth registration in the state.
“Birth registration has been low during the COVID-19 lock-down period. This is because a lot of areas were on lock-down especially in the rural areas and this affected some Primary Health Centers (PHCs).
“COVID-19 did not make it easy for women to access and utilize health facilities, especially as the logistics of getting to health facilities were negatively impacted. Therefore, the majority of the women had to give birth at home and the birth of their babies was not registered.
“Also some of our data collection officers who usually go house to house were hampered due to the restriction of movement. So during this period, we recorded low birth registration,” the state Coordinator said.
Baba then stated that the Commission is in the final stage of digitalization of the vital and civil registration system adding that computers, tablets, generators and other peripherals have been procured and deployed to the 25 local government areas of Niger state.
He emphasized that the NPC intends to account for every resident in Nigeria through the next population and housing census adding that in Niger state, NPC has demarcated about 28 per cent of the state as a prototype using the state of the art technology to enable accurate and acceptable population and housing census.
He said that NPC will continue to perform her function of generating demographic, health and socio-economic data for championing the course of all especially women and girls as well as advising the government on population-related issues.
“We need to remind ourselves that uplifting the reproductive health and rights of the women and girls is an absolute necessity towards transforming our population into a veritable asset in the quest for sustainable development.”