17 May 2017 17:20pm
WINDHOEK, 17 MAY (NAMPA) - The new electronic birth notification system was launched in Windhoek on Wednesday.
This means that babies will now be registered electronically at hospitals as soon as they are born.
The e-birth notification system is an initiative of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, Ministry of Health and Social Services and Office of the Prime Minister.
Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana said the aim of the joint project is to notify the National Population Registration System (NPRS) electronically as soon as a birth occurs, which will be done by a nurse facilitating the delivery.
The system will ensure verification of the mothers identity as it is linked to the NPRS, and improve data quality and production of vital statistics.
Such information is essential for planning and implementing development policies and programmes, particularly in health, education, housing, water, sanitation, employment, agriculture and industrial production, said Iivula-Ithana.
During the 2016/17 financial year, the Home Affairs Ministry registered 42 154 babies under the age of a year.
The minister stressed that without a birth certificate, children cannot enrol in schools and are not eligible to receive child support.
When children have no legal proof of age and legal identity, they are more vulnerable to early marriage and other harmful practices, including child labour, illegal inter-country adoption and recruitment into armed forces and groups or commercial sexual exploitation, she said.
The system will be piloted at the Windhoek Central Hospital and Katutura State Hospital in June. It will be rolled out to Rundu and Eenhana in July, before the final expansion to all other State hospitals - depending on the availability of funds.
Iivula-Ithana called on private hospitals to implement the system as well.
She said the Rhino Park Private Hospital has already approached the ministry and they are working on a Memorandum of Understanding to this effect.