Kiambu County has a backlog of over 2000 uncollected birth certificates since 2013.
Speaking to KNA in her office Monday, the County Civil Registration Coordinator Jane Kariuki urged parents and guardians who are yet to collect their children’s birth certificates to pick them from the respective civil registration offices.
The state Department for Civil Registration is mandated with immediate registration of births and deaths occurring in the country and abroad.
Kariuki, while explaining the benefits of having a birth certificate as early as possible, noted that there was general lack of awareness countywide, on the importance of early registration and timely collection of the vital document.
“A birth certificate, especially for children is used globally as the only document that shows proof of existence, can be used to get justice for the children in case of early marriage, child abuse and defilement as well as other forms of violation of their rights,” she explained.
Subsequently, due widespread ignorance in the community, Kariuki said that most parents fail to register their children, especially those born at home and this poses a challenge later on, when they start chasing for registration, especially when children are being enrolled in schools.
“Any baby born, whether at home or in hospital should acquire a birth notification within six months to facilitate processing of a birth certificate, if born in hospital, one is issued with a notification before they leave the maternity, while those who give birth at home normally get their registration through the Assistant Chief’s office,” Kariuki said.
She noted that because of lack of awareness, the department is currently conducting outreach in partnership with other stakeholders to enlighten area residents on the need to embrace timely birth certification.
The coordinator said department is also planning a sensitization and capacity training for stakeholders in health facilities, children homes and community leaders in Kiambu to sensitize them on importance of early child registration.
This will help address the challenge of unregistered births as well as flocking of offices during last minute rush when birth certificates are needed urgently especially during registration for national exams.
“Our offices at times are filled with parents crying to us about the urgency of birth certificates, especially during registration for national examinations. We want to address this challenge once and for all by ensuring that each child is registered and issued with a birth certificate as early as possible,” she said.
By Lucy Mwikali