General News of Thursday, 12 February 2015
Source: Today Newspaper
Today can state on authority that electricity power is not the only commodity that is currently being rationed in the country; the situation is same with birth registration forms.
Investigation by the paper has revealed that for the last three months, the country has been hit by intermittent supply of birth registration forms to government hospitals and polyclinics.
Today’s findings revealed that the problem was as a result of logistical and financial constraints.
In the case of passport, our sorties at the Passport Office in Accra disclosed that the office did not have cartridges to print and make photocopies of birth and passport forms of applicants.
The development at the Passport Office, the paper gathered, saw some unscrupulous persons taking advantage of it and milking passport applicants.
The shortage of cartridges at the Passport Office, Today further learnt, was stalling the whole passport process.
A source close to the Passport Office told Today that the office was waiting for a new consignment of cartridges from Germany.
Meanwhile though there were few birth registration forms in the system, it was established that they were not adequate enough to cater for the quantities that were usually supplied to the public hospitals and the polyclinics.
Today gathered that the Controller and Accountant General’s Department, which is the principal supplier of the forms, has for some months now, not been able to regularly supply the Births and Deaths Registry with enough birth registration forms.
When Today reached the Principal Assistant Registrar via phone, Reverend Kingsley Asare Addo, he confirmed that indeed his outfit had for some time now not been receiving enough birth registration forms.
According to him, the reason stemmed from some logistical and financial constraints. He went on to state that following the inadequate supply of birth registration forms his outfit has begun rationing the forms.
The move, Today discovered, was aimed at ensuring that government hospitals get some to give to mothers who wanted to register their babies.
This worrying situation, the paper observed, has compelled the Births and Deaths Registry which headquarters is in Accra to resort to rationing of the births registration forms.
A visit to some of the public hospitals and polyclinics revealed that the issue of unavailability of birth registration forms was indeed a disquieting one for especially mothers of new-born babies.
Speaking to Today parents who also wanted to register their new born babies to help them acquire passport were unhappy about the development.
A father of a bouncing baby boy, Mr. Edward Asamoah, said: “This is totally a failure on the part of the powers-that-be. It is unacceptable and should not be entertained in this 21st Century! Mr. Asamoah expressed.
At the Maternity Ward of Amasaman Government Hospital, Today observed that the situation was not only frustrating for mothers of newly born babies, but equally baffling to them.
Whilst some fumed at the revelation that the Ward did not have birth registration forms, others could not fathom why what they described as “common birth forms” would be short in supply.
A mother of newly born twins, Mrs. Ophelia Obeng, wondered whether leaders of this country even think about the welfare of the citizenry.
“Do leaders of this country think about the wellbeing of Ghanaians? I think they do not! Because if they do then why would they sit aloof and allow common birth registration forms to run out of supply?” Mrs. Obeng angrily asked.
The situation was not different at the Kaneshie Polyclinic where many mothers of new born babies wanting to get birth registration forms to register their babies were told by the midwives and nurses that polyclinic had ran out of birth registration forms.