Lahja Nashuuta Windhoek-The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration has extended its birth registration office to private hospitals to ensure all births in the country are documented. The ministry introduced timely birth registration in 2008 and since then the birth registration centres were only available in public hospitals and only babies born in specific hospitals obtained birth certificates from the ministry. However, history was made on Thursday when the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration Erastus Uutoni inaugurated a new government birth registration office in Rhino Park Private Hospital in Windhoek. MHAI hospital base-registration office is a result of a new public-private partnership agreement between the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration and the management of Rhino Park hospital, Uutoni revealed. “This particular initiative is a first of its kind to be undertaken between our ministry and a private hospital in Namibia and I believe such initiative will create an opportunity for other private hospitals to follow suit,” he had. Uutoni said the agreement for the premises is on a non-rental basis and will provide both birth and death registration services – and will not only be open to those that give birth or die in the private hospital but will be open for the public who wish to register the birth of a child as well as the death of a loved one. According to the home affairs and immigration ministry there are 23 public hospital-based birth registration offices countrywide providing birth and death registration to the public, however many births and deaths go undocumented. Quoting the Namibian Inter-Censal Demographic Survey 2016, Uutoni said the death registration in that year was over 90 percent in both urban and rural areas. “In a situation when deaths go uncounted and causes of death are not documented, the government cannot design effective public health policies or measure their impact. That’s why a death certificate is the source for state and national mortality statistics. It’s needed for a variety of medical and health related research efforts,” Uutoni said. Uutoni also reminded the nation that Namibia being a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child, all children have the right to be registered immediately after birth, the right to health and education, and the right to care and protection.
2018-02-02 10:25:26 7 months ago