Increasing child birth registration challenges-chat

Research commissioned by UNICEF shows that in Kosovo 8.3% of households have failed to register at least one of their children at birth.

© UNICEF/NYHQ2011-1064/Kate Holt

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There are several other countries, primarily in Africa, where the situation is even worse. Children whose births are unregistered may not be able to claim basic services, such as access to education and health services, and be protected from violence, exploitation and trafficking. In Kosovo, other causes for concern include ethnic, regional and gender disparities, and human rights issues.

Experience from countries like Uganda, Senegal and Brazil shows that involving community workers and mobile technologies can help close the gap to 100% registered births. In Kosovo, the problem is that the registration services are not integrated in all health centers, there are still home births in remote areas and even when babies are delivered in hospitals, some parents don't provide all the documents necessary to complete the registration.

By using mobile technologies, specifically SMS, and engaging community (health, social, educational, NGO) workers to report whenever they identify an un-registered child, particularly in remote areas, the problem could be made more manageable for the registration authorities. This information would be essential in organizing mobile registration campaigns and reducing (or removing) the costs of transportation of families to registration offices.