High number of late birth registrations in Kavango

15 Jun 2017 18:50pm
WINDHOEK, 15 JUN (NAMPA) – The two Kavango Regions still have very high rates of late registration of births, despite efforts by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration to open registration offices.
This was revealed by the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Erastus Uutoni when he responded to questions by DTA Member of Parliament (MP), Jennifer Van der Heever in the National Assembly Thursday.
Van der Heever wanted to know how many citizens in that part of the country are not in possession of national documents such as birth certificates and Identity Documents, which means they don’t have access to services that require national documents, such as bank accounts and social grants.
Uutoni explained that last year 13 836 births were registered, but only 3 132 of these babies were registered within a reasonable period.
He added that the late registrations or non-registration of many children are due to cultural naming practices or absent fathers. The process is in some cases also hampered by long distances to get to registration offices.
“I must make it clear that absent fathers must not be a barrier for timely birth registration,” he said, before encouraging mothers to register the births of their children even if the father is not present.
He said in cases of absent fathers, the law permits the child taking the mother’s surname. If there is a need for the child to take their father’s surname later, the surname can be changed.
Uutoni further informed the House that since 2012, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration opened four hospital-based registration offices in the Kavango Regions.
These offices were opened at the Rundu State Hospital and Nyangana, Andara and Nankudu hospitals.
This is in addition to the regional office in Rundu and the two sub-regional offices in each region, namely Mukwe sub-regional office in Kavango East and Kahenge sub-regional office in Kavango West.