All Woman

Register your babies now

Baby Steps

Wednesday, February 26, 2014    

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The Registrar General's Department (RGD) has been appealing to parents to get their children registered so they can benefit from vital services and also provide data to assist the national planning process.

Acting chief executive officer of the RGD Yvette Scott noted that not only is birth registration important in giving people an identity and providing proof of existence, but it is also key in assisting the Government to plan for development and provide essential services to meet the needs of the population.

"The planners need it to ensure that, for example, a basic school is placed in the best location. So if we have say 40,000 children in Jamaica and they are not registered, the minister of education will not know how to plan for basic schools and so on, so it's very important to have the registration so we can have the necessary information," she pointed out.

"It is also important for persons to access social services, because if you are registered and you walk into a school and you don't have that birth certificate there is no way that you can show proof of your identity."

"It is also important for persons to access social services, because if you are registered and you walk into a school and you don't have that birth certificate there is no way that you can show proof of your identity."

Data from the RGD indicates that before the full introduction of the bedside registration programme in January 2007, an alarming number of Jamaican children would go unregistered every year.

Of note:

* The RGD now conducts registration of births and still births at the bedside of the mother while still in hospital. This has led to significant improvements in the capture of these vital events. Trained registration officers, who are employed by the agency, are stationed in all hospitals islandwide to effect such registrations. Vital information, including but not limited to date of birth of child, sex of child, mother's name and doctor or midwife present at time of birth are captured for civil registration purposes.

* If a child was born outside of a hospital it is the responsibility of his/her parents to register the birth. If the parents are unable to do so then an occupier of the house in which the birth occurred or an individual present at the time of the birth should register the birth.

* Births are registered at the offices of the local district registrar and all regional offices. A local district registrar is a person appointed by the registrar general to effect registration of births, deaths and stillbirths occurring in their registration district.

* All births must be registered in the district name in which they occurred. When a birth is registered it is given a birth entry number. This is a unique number which is used to identify each child's birth registration record. The unique entry number tells the parish, the district and the sequence of births registered in the year the child was born, for a particular district.

* All births must be registered within three months and less than one year

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