The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), the National Population Commission (NPC), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have announced a new partnership aimed at enhancing birth registration in the country.
The development was contained in a statement issued by the trio on Wednesday, June 7, 2023.
According to the statement, the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) solidified the commitment of the three organisations to collaborate and support the digitalized birth registration process in 22 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
It said, this partnership aims to provide a robust framework within which the parties can implement a comprehensive and efficient digitalised birth registration process across Nigeria.
By leveraging their existing resources and facilities, the NYSC, NPC, and UNICEF intend to benefit at least 12 million under-5 eligible children who will be registered as primary beneficiaries. Additionally, families, parents, caregivers, communities, households, state and local government areas (LGAs), and ward level administrators will be indirect beneficiaries of this collaboration.
Speaking on this significant collaboration, the Director General NYSC, Brigadier General YD Ahmed expressed his enthusiasm, saying, “The NYSC is honoured to join hands with the NPC and UNICEF in this vital initiative. Our deployment of 850 corps members as coordinators and supervisors, spread across 22 states and the FCT, will ensure effective monitoring and supervision of the birth registration process. Together, we will strive to achieve comprehensive data collection and availability, supporting increased birth registration coverage in our respective LGAs.”
Similarly, Chairman of NPC, Nasir Isa Kwarra informed that the Commission, as a key partner, will play a crucial role in ensuring the success of the partnership:
“We are committed to supporting the recruitment of ad hoc birth registrars at the ward level and ensuring the availability of registration materials to coordinators and supervisors. By distributing protocols, checklists, FAQs, and informational materials, we aim to engage local government chairpersons, traditional and religious leaders, and communities to promote the importance of birth registration. Together, we will generate and analyze digitalised birth registration data at the LGAs and wards, ultimately increasing birth registration coverage.”
On her part, UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate stated that, as a leading organisation in child welfare and development, UNICEF would bring its expertise to the table to support the digitalised birth registration services in focus states:
“Our primary focus will be on providing technical assistance and evidence-based interventions.
“By integrating birth registration into routine health service delivery, conducting the digitalised birth registration process, and increasing awareness through state and community-level campaigns, we aim to ensure that every child has access to and benefits from the essential health and birth registration interventions they deserve”, she said.