By Michael Kofi Kenetey
A Deputy Registrar at the Births and Deaths Registry, BDR, Seth Bosompem Kissi, has revealed that for the past five years the average death registration stands at 17 percent which is below the 80 percent target by the Sustainable Development Goal.
This he noted can be attributed to the passive approach adopted by the Births and Deaths Registry over the years to death registration in the country.
Mr. Kissi was speaking at a two-day stakeholders’ workshop in Koforidua the Eastern Regional capital to find ways of improving death registration coverage in Ghana.
Mr. Kissi mentioned charges for obtaining key documents, underreporting of deaths, complicated processes for details that require a Coroner’s registration, postmortem cases, social norms and religious practices as some challenges that hinder death registration in Ghana.
During a panel discussion to educate participants on the role of Birth and Death Registration, a Facilitator and a Professor of Pathology, Prof. Edwin Wiredu noted that the cemetery law will be operationalized to ensure that every cemetery in the country is registered and regulated fully.
He advised the BDR to demystify death registration to make it simple and easy to motivate people to register their dead relatives. Prof. Wiredu noted that as the way religious leaders request for marriage certificates before blessing a marriage, the time has come for Religious leaders to request death certificate before burying any dead person.
The General Secretary of National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana, NALAG, Kokro Amankwah called for strong collaboration between the BDR and the MMDAs to ensure that every death is registered at the community level to the national level. He also lamented that improper planning of our environment has contributed to low death registration.