Kenya's mobile birth registration project kicks off
- Parent Category: Mobile
- Published on 20 August 2012
Children’s development organisation, PLAN International, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have launched a mobile registration project to help Kenyan parents access their newborn babies’ birth certificates using their phones.
Through the project, community health workers use mobile phones to collect information of new births in their areas of their jurisdiction, and then relay the information to relevant officials to facilitate the registration of children.
According to PLAN International, about half of all children born in places such as Kenya's coastal town Kwale do not have birth certificates, which is a requirement for registration in national exams.
Parents who fail to register their babies within the first six months after birth, often face many challenges and have to go through lengthy processes when applying for a birth certificate at a later stage.
Ali Mwatsahu, a community worker in coastal Kenya, has said that the use of mobile phones has reduced the costs of applying for a birth certificate.
“With this mobile process, after you have received all the birth information you just send it directly to Kwale, you don’t have to travel, and you can send as many forms as possible within a short time," said Mwatsahu.
"When the certificates are ready they contact us, we go and pick the certificates. And parents do not have to travel to and fro, all the time, looking for something which is not ready,” he said.
The Kenya Department of Civil Registration is seeking to have the mobile civil registration fully-implemented nationwide.
According to Daniel Muga, a chief registrar at the Department of Civil Registration, plans are underway to digitise over 35 million records in preparation for adoption of mobile civil registration.