UNICEF and SPTC host Birth registration campaign
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in conjunction with the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), held a Birth Registration campaign on Tuesday, April 16th at the Community Church in San Mateo. The church doors opened from 9AM to 5PM. Residents of the San Mateo area and other neighboring areas that have not yet registered their children were encouraged to visit the church and complete the registration process. The objective of the program is to properly document unregistered children.
Proper documentation is essential for schooling, work and even medical care. Birth registration is normally done by parents in the days after the birth of their child, either at the San Pedro Police Station or in Belize City at the Vital StatisticsUnit. The campaign was started in February 2011 by Christine Norton, Belize’s country representative for UNICEF. The birth registration campaign has since visited several locations across the country promoting the importance of child birth registration and documentation of the unregistered.
Councilor Kenrick Brackett explained that at many times, citizens don’t have the funds to travel away from their area to register their children, “Many people in the San Mateo area deliver babies at home because it is difficult to reach the clinic on time. Registration ends up being postponed, until it really is needed, like when it is time to enroll into preschool or primary school.” By bringing the registration center to the area, UNICEF and SPTC hopes that parents document their children. Not only is it essential to register your children as a form of proof of identification and nationality, but the statistics are necessary for the SPTC to make improvements in the area to accommodate the population.
SPTC reminds the island parents that it is of upmost importance to register their child/children shortly after birth to avoid complications.
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