NCRA, FREETOWN, WEDNESDAY 24 JUNE 2020– The Director-General of the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) Mohamed Mubashir Massaquoi has held a zoom meeting with Regional Registration Officers (RROs), District Registration Officers (DROs) and District Staff at the Authority’s Conference Room, on Walpole Street, Freetown.
The meeting, which virtually brought together all 17 District Offices across the country including Bonthe Island and Falaba, was geared towards updating the DG and other senior management staff on the progress of births and deaths registration and other vital events undertaken across the country, during the period of January to May 2020.
” We decided to call this meeting because we think so many things may be going on in your Districts and your regions and we think we have to be in touch with you to guide what you are doing there,” the DG said.
The Director-General of the NCRA Mohamed Mubashir Massaquoi announced that the essence of such an important meeting cannot be overemphasized, as it underscored the need for continued guidance and for providing policy directives on the operations and activities of all District offices, especially on births and deaths registration. He added that the meeting was also aimed at creating the platform for RROs and DROs to report on the status of births and deaths registration, coordination and District stakeholder engagements for effective data collection of vital events and the challenges faced in their respective districts, particularly in the area of births and deaths registration amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Largely we want to see where you are with births and deaths registration and other vital events, how is the ICT arrangement there in your entire Districts and of course coordination among stakeholders, and the overall challenges in implementing the CRVS program in your Districts,” the DG announced.
In her presentation, the DRO of Kailahun District, Josephine Massah Vannah said they have been working collectively with all Public Health Units (PHUs) health workers in the district in enhancing births and deaths registration and that the health workers have been very much cooperative in releasing the required data on births and deaths registration and other vital events. She reported that the Office has been able to record 70% data of births and deaths registrations for every month.
The DRO also stated that as a team they have been constantly engaging community stakeholders, the District Health Medical Team (DHMT) and the people of Kailahun District and its surrounding areas through the media and other means of communication on the need, importance and benefit of births and deaths registration. She however noted that the need to capacitate the health workers in handling the births and deaths registration forms and poor road network to accessing some remote arears to collect the data, are some of the challenges impacting the processes of births and deaths registration and recording of other vital events in the District.
In his report, the DRO of Pujehun District, Fode S.K Dabo said that they have been meeting with the DHMT on a monthly basis to update and inform them about the operations of NCRA with regards to births and deaths registration. He noted that community sensitization and media engagements on the importance of births and deaths registration have been robustly ongoing. He also informed the DG that health workers in almost all PHUs have been very much supportive in providing data to NCRA.
The DRO of Moyamba District, Edward J Macauley reported that they have been collaborating with the District Health Medical Team on many programs especially on their usual “DHMT Hour” radio program to sensitize the community and other stakeholders on the importance of births and deaths registration and vital events.
In her presentation, Aminata P Lebbie, DRO Bo district said that as a way of engaging relevant stakeholders on the importance of births and deaths registration in the District. She said she has been constantly attending the District monthly Provincial Security Committee (PROSEC) and District Security Committee (DISEC) meetings. This she noted has immensely provided the platform for her to enlighten the relevant stakeholders on the mandate of NCRA in registering births and deaths events.
The DRO of Western Urban, Raymond Jones and Western Rural, John Ellie both shared similar reports to the Director General on the status of births and deaths registration in their respective Districts. They noted that poor internet facilities and lack of adequate laptops to effectively input data has been a major challenge.
Similar reports were offered by other DROs’ about strengthening and sensitizing the community on the importance of births and deaths registration and other vital events across the country. The change of reporting template for PHUs health workers, poor road network, poor internet facility, untrained staff in handling the births and deaths registrations, insufficient laptops and the Covid-19 pandemic are some of the major challenges raised by all the DROs affecting the smooth process of registering births and deaths and other vital events across the country.
The Director-General of NCRA applauded the District staff for their commitment and dedication to the work of NCRA. He urged all of them to redouble their efforts especially those Districts that are performing relatively low in the registration of births, deaths and other vital events.
The DG admonished all RROs and DROs to strengthen their collaborative and coordination prowess with the relevant stakeholders in their respective Districts. Mr. Massaquoi implored them all to start liaising with religious leaders and the local councils to see how best data for marriages, divorces and other vital events are registered with the NCRA across the country.
IEC DIRECTORATE, NCRA
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