By Mustapha Ceesay
The Ministry of Health informed the public that it has registered His Excellency President Adama Barrow and his Family into the new electronic Civil Registry and Vital Statistics (eCRVS) on 3rd August 2022.
The Mass Registration in the Greater Banjul Area commenced 2nd August 2022, and would gradually roll out to the rest of the country as highlighted in the schedule and the masses are urged to get ready to get a new digital birth certificate free of charge.
An updated schedule later shared by the Ministry of Health on 5th August 2022 for the mass registration for the new electronic Civil Registry and Vital Statistics (eCRVS) said registration started on 2nd August in the Greater Banjul Area.
The new electronic Birth Certificate
Details of the certificate covered for confidentiality
Documents required for the new Birth Certificate registration are one or more of the following Gambian documents, a guidance note published by the Ministry on 12th August 2022 indicated.
· Birth certificate
· Valid National identity card
· Resident permit
· Antenatal card for new-born
· Infant welfare card (IWC)
· Alkalo’s Attestation (Endorsed by District Chief Executive or Mayor)
The guidance note further stated that except the birth certificate, bearers of the above documents would have to provide one of the following supporting document from one or both parents:
• Birth Certificate,
• National Identity Card
• Infant Welfare Card
• Death certificate
It continued that all persons aged 50 years, and above seeking registration would only require any of the “applicant documents” without supporting documents.
Why should one register?
A Ministry of Health booklet on the digital birth registration stated that it is a legal requirement and a fundamental human right for every person to be given an identity, hence every individual born in The Gambia, or by Gambian parents is required to register your birth.
A Birch certificate is one of the prerequisites to register for the NHIS which is mandatory by law; while birth registration serves as security for an individual and regularizes his/her citizenship status, the booklet further stated.
Who should be registered?
Persons born in the Gambia to one or both Gambian parent(s), persons born in the Gambia to parents who are non-Gambians, persons born in The Gambia to parents who are refugees resident in The Gambia, and persons born outside The Gambia to Gambian parents are categories of people who need to register for the digital birth registration, the guidance note further stated.
The public is urged to report to the nearest registration centre to get the new digital birth certificate and National Health Insurance. The registration centres are mentioned in the updated schedule for the registration
The registration for the new digital birth certificate is free of charge, and the Minister of Health, Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh informed that the government would be the main contributor for the insurance scheme.
The Gambia on 31st July announced that with funding from the World Bank, it would commence a National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) membership registration and Civil Registration and Vital Statistic (CRVS).
According to the announcement, the registration is meant to achieve universal coverage of electronic Birth Registration and Health Insurance enrolment for all citizens and residents in The Gambia.