Only 38.3 per cent of Under-five children in Bauchi State were registered at birth in 2021.
The declaration was made in Bauchi on Saturday by Dr Tushar Rane, chief of UNICEF Bauchi Field Office.
He said at the beginning of a two-day planning meeting that the office was targeting birth registration for 1,080,984 under-five children in the state in 2023.
He explained that birth registration was an essential tool for protecting children’s rights; for planning and for the promotion of development and citizenship.
“According to the 2021 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, birth registration of Under-five children was at 38.3 per cent in Bauchi state.
“In 2022, a joint UNICEF and government performance review took place and Bauchi State was found to be one of the lowest performers in birth registration,” he said.
In his remarks, Mr Matthew Temidayo, National Director, Department of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics, National Population Commission (NPC), said the 2023 exercise would be conducted in the 20 local government areas of Bauchi State.
He said the NPC would engage volunteers at ward levels to conduct the 2023 birth registration of the Under-fives.
The exercise would be conducted in collaboration with the NYSC, Bauchi State government and the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, he added.
Temidayo said also that the NPC would conduct a similar exercise in 22 low-performing states across the country.
“The exercise will begin on March 20 and will be conducted in two phases.
“Ten local government areas will participate in the first phase which would span 15 days, while the second batch of 10 local government areas would be covered in the following 15 days.
“Volunteers would be drawn from wards to gain residents’ trust and compliance for a hitch free exercise,” he explained.
Also speaking at the meeting, Mr Ali Babayo, Permanent Secretary, Bauchi State Ministry of Health, reiterated the state government’s commitment to improve healthcare services.
He commended UNICEF and other stakeholders for supporting activities around birth registration and other healthcare programmes.