Tigo, UNICEF Ghana and Births and Deaths Registry were recognised at the just ended 71st annual session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly for innovative mobile application designed to make birth registration of children smart, quick and reliable in Ghana.
The innovative mobile app was featured in a video and presentation to the audience including Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama, Millicom CEO Mr. Mauricio Ramos, donors and UN officials, at the ‘Every Woman Every Child’ event on the margins of the session.
‘Every Woman Every Child’ is a global movement that mobilizes and intensifies international and national action by governments, the UN, multilaterals, the private sector and civil society to address the major health challenges facing women, children and adolescents.
The movement puts into action the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, which presents a roadmap on ending all preventable deaths of women, children and adolescents within a generation.
At the event, President Mahama said: “Lack of birth registration prevents us from knowing how many kids to register for school, vaccines, and quick dissemination of health information through mobile apps will reach more people in more areas, especially women. “We can empower people widely by giving them access to education and resources –human development opportunities for all. We can do more to end hunger. Especially with mobile innovation that will push attainment of Sustainable Development Goals.”
“We are honoured by the UN General Assembly recognition. We are passionate about improving lives in communities in which we operate through the use of technology which is why we embraced the opportunity to collaborate with UNICEF on this initiative. We are excited about the impact this innovation will have in communities across Ghana especially in areas which are hard to reach,” said the Chief Executive Officer of Tigo, Roshi Motman after the event.
“Birth registration is more than just a right. It is how a society first recognizes and acknowledges a child’s identity and existence,” said Susan Namondo Ngongi, UNICEF Ghana Representative. “Birth registration is also key to guaranteeing that children are not forgotten, denied their rights or hidden from the progress of their nations.”
The automated birth registration system is an Android App which has been customized for Tigo Network only, and it operates in both offline and online mode. The tablets use the mobile app to collect data related to the child’s name, gender, date of birth and other family details, which are then sent to the central database managed by the Births and Deaths Registry.
Once received, the data is stored and an automated response is sent to the Births and Deaths Registry official on the field, confirming that a certificate can be issued. Whereas data collected though the paper-based system tales six months to be registered in the central system, the mobile registration process achieves this in less than two minutes.
According to analysis done by Births and Deaths Registry, UNICEF and Tigo, at the end of the one year pilot, over 670,800 new births will be registered on the new system by the end of May 2017. This would increase Ghana’s birth registration rate to 75 percent, from the previous 65 percent.