248,000 more children to receive birth certificates in Dar

DAR ES SALAAM: MINISTER for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Dr Pindi Chana has launched a programme meant to register all children under five years for Dar es Salaam Region, calling upon the public to fully exploit the opportunity where children will get birth certificates freely.

The official launch of the Simplified Birth Registration System Programme in Dar es Salaam completes the nationwide roll-out extending the critical service for families to register their child at birth to all 26 regions in Mainland Tanzania.

Launched in 2013 by the Registration Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA) and government ministries, supported through the partnership between the Global Affairs Canada, UNICEF and Tigo Telecom, the Simplified Birth Registration System introduced a new era of efficiency for registering the birth of all newborns and children under the age of five.

With over nine million children under the age of five registered already, more than 248,000 young children in Dar es Salaam are set to receive their birth certificates over the next ten days, securing their rightful recognition and  identity.

Parents and caregivers in Dar es Salaam now have access to over 500 registration points, including 102 wards and 403 health facilities.

Speaking shortly after launching the programme over the weekend at Mbagala’s Zakhem grounds in Temeke District, Dr Chana said the RITA coordinated progrmme was designed to register all under five children and issue the certificates without pay.

“Birth certificates are of paramount importance for our children as they continue schooling since they will easily be connected and recognised by government systems,” she said. Minister Chana congratulated Dar es Salaam residents for showing up in big numbers.

Earlier, RITA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Frank Kanyusi said RITA was expecting to register over 200,000 until the exercise winds up in Dar es Salaam early next year.

“We are planning to ensure that by end of next year all children under five must have been registered and get their birth certificates,” Mr Kanyusi explained.

According to Mr Kanyusi, the exercise will be conducted at all health centres, district hospitals and regional hospitals in Dar es Salaam Region.

“Dar es Salaam Region has reached 60 per cent in the exercise of issuing birth certificates for children.  The 2022 population census shows the region has 624,755 children who have already secured birth certificates and 248,298 children were yet to be registered,” he said.

“The launch of the Simplified Birth Registration System in the Dar es Salaam Region completes the roll-out of this critical service to all 26 regions across Mainland Tanzania and is a testament to the continuous effort by the government to realise the right to recognition for every child by making birth registration accessible and affordable for families throughout the country,” said Elke Wisch, UNICEF Representative to Tanzania.

“It is crucial to build upon the success of the birth registration system and develop it into a robust Civil Registration and Vital Statistics System and ensure every child’s right to identity and a brighter future.”

“Canada has invested 30 million Canadian dollars in birth registration and certificates,” said Helen Fytche, Head of Cooperation, Global Affairs Canada, adding, “It is because Canada recognises that investing in Tanzania youths, and in particular girls, will have a crucial impact in shaping Tanzania’s future. Demographic trends underscore the urgency of such investments.”

Speaking at the same venue, Representative from Tigo, Ms Rukia apart from congratulating RITA for doing a good work, said Mtingwa said Tigo through its network has helped the programme to reach more Tanzanians easily.

Since the programme started to be implemented, already 25 regions have registered all children and it climaxes in Dar es Salaam, bringing the total number of regions that implemented the exercise to 26.

Birth registration is a fundamental right for every child and is the cornerstone for granting children access to essential social services and protection from harmful practices, bridging the rural-urban divide and improving access for marginalised communities.

By focusing on accessibility and affordability, the Simplified Birth Registration programme addresses gender, inclusion and economic barriers in order to overcome previous challenges in the birth registration process.

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