By: Selma Taapopi
The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration has raised concerns regarding the high number of late birth registrations especially in the rural areas because of unreported home births. As a result, the ministry is urging parents of newborn babies to prioritise registering them as soon as possible.
According to the Ministry's Chief Public Relations Officer, Margaret Kalo, to remedy the situation, the ministry carries out a continuous civil registration outreach programme in various regions countrywide in order to bring the services closer to members of the public who are unable to travel to the ministry's offices.
“We are experiencing alot of late birth registrations. Home births are also one of the challenges that the Ministry is facing because when you give birth at home, some parents do not go and register the children. We are urging the parents that look, if you have a home birth, all that is required from you as a parent is to get a letter from your headman that states that you delivered a child at home,” noted Kalo adding the parents also need another letter of consent from a person who witnessed the birth of the child.
Kalo explained that registering an old person is not easy because the ministry must be sure they are registering the correct person, hence, the ministry conducts investigations to gather necessary information that can support a person applying for a birth certificate.
Kalo emphasised that it is dangerous when a child grows up without a birth certificate, because without one, the ministry will not be able to issue an identity document and one will not have access to vital services such as banking services or education.
She added it becomes a chain if an adult does not have national documents which means their child(ren) will also not have any documents.
Kalo said birth certificates are issued for free while duplicates cost a N$100.