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 Nigeria.
The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the deal in Abuja, is said to solidified the commitment of the three organizations to collaborate and support the digitalized birth registration process in 22 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The partnership aimed to provide a robust framework within which the parties can implement a comprehensive and efficient digitalized 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 the 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.”
Also speaking, Chairman, NPC , Nasir Isa Kwarra said 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 digitalized birth registration data at the LGAs and wards, ultimately increasing birth registration coverage.”
On her part, Cristian Munduate, UNICEF representative in Nigeria, said UNICEF, as a leading organization in child welfare and development, will bring its expertise to the table to support the digitalized 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 digitalized 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.”
The three organization assured of their commitment to promoting the importance of birth registration within the National Youth Corps programs, stimulating increased demand for birth registration services in health facilities and at the community level.
Further assured that the collaboration will foster constructive engagement with local government chairpersons, traditional and religious leaders, leveraging their support to enhance the digitalized birth registration process.