Rwanda launches births, deaths registration in all hospitals

Rwanda is marking the third African Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Day in Masaka Hospital in Kicukiro district by officially launching the registration of births and deaths in all country hospitals, an official has said.

African CRVS day is celebrated every year on August 10 to increase public awareness of the importance of making everyone visible in Africa through a well-functioning civil registration and vital statistics system covering the entire population and all vital events occurring in a country.


 Josephine Mukesha, Director-General of the National Identification Agency, told The New Times that the law on Persons and Family was amended on February 2 to extend civil registrar rights to health facilities and cells to register births and deaths occurring in health facilities and communities, respectively.


Furthermore, she said, the ministerial orders published in the national gazette of July 27, specified the health facility staff who will be given the civil registrar responsibilities based on the type of the health facility.


Mukesha said: "In this regard, the Ministry of local Government together with its stakeholders including the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Gender and family promotion, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of ICT and Innovation, National Identification Agency, National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, Rwanda Law Reform Commission, the directorate of Immigration and Emigration, Rwanda Biomedical Center and the National Commission for Children, plan to launch the NCI-CRVS System in all hospital on the African CRVS day on 10th August 2020."

The first phase at the launch will include all hospitals in Rwanda.

These, Mukesha explained, are 56 in all Districts. Thereafter, the new system "will be progressively rolled out in all remaining health facilities."

The theme for Africa CRVS day, she said, is: "Digitized CRVS system: a fundamental pillar for timely and quality service delivery."

Asked what human resources are readily available in hospitals to do CRVS tasks immediately after the official launch, Mukesha explained that there are 550 health facilities - including private ones - and in each health facility at least two staffers were trained, one as the data manager while the other has the civil registrar responsibilities.

Mukesha said: "Depending on the type of health facility; the Director of the Unit of nurses and midwives or the head of a health center or the director of the private health facility will be given the rights to act as civil registrars to register the two events - birth and death."

How CRVS in hospitals will be done

For any birth or death occurring in a health facility, Mukesha explained, the data manager will continue notifying this event by recording all the main information from the health registers at the facility.

"This process has been done since 2015 and is used to get the vital statistics. Now, the next step will require declaration of the event at the same health facility to the head nurse or any other person appointed as civil registrar; the father or any relative delegated by the parent of the newborn baby will declare this event for civil registration purposes," Mukesha said.

"Upon registration by the civil registrar at the health facility, the declarant will be given a unique identifier which they will use to apply for the record (birth or death) at Irembo where it will be put in their vault and they will access it as much as they want since it doesn’t expire."

In Rwanda, the full record costs Rwf2,000 while the extract of the record costs Rwf1,000, Mukesha noted.

Civil registration as defined by the UN is the continuous, permanent, compulsory and universal recording of the occurrence and characteristics of vital events, such as birth and death, of the population in accordance with the law.

It is the basis for the identification of someone.

Rwanda recognises nine vital events: birth, death, marriage, and divorce, annulment of marriage, guardianship, adoption, recognition, and legitimation. The registration of these events allows citizens to get benefits including services they are entitled to.

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