People living in deprived and remote communities in the country can now heave a sigh of relieve with the introduction of automated registration of births and deaths at regional offices of the Births and Deaths Registry.

The Registry with the support of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLG&RD), Statistical Service, Plan Ghana, and other donor partners have also introduced Community Population Registers in 126 communities in the Central, Eastern, Upper West and Northern regions.

The Deputy Minister for MLG&RD, Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, announced this at a news briefing in Accra on Tuesday aimed at heralding activities, lined up for September to raise public awareness about the importance and benefits of early registration of births and deaths.

Currently, the national birth registration coverage has been at 56 per cent while death hovers around 24 per cent.

Mr Ankrah said the Registry hope birth registration would increase to 70 per cent coverage for 2011.

He, however, mentioned that the Registry faced numerous challenges which include inadequate registration centers, inadequate staff, lack of motivational packages and needed logistics.

The Deputy Minister noted that the automation system at the Registry’s headquarters in Accra has made it possible to produce certificates with enhanced security components that have helped to eliminate the influx of fraudulent registration documents.

According to Mr. Ankrah, the new system has also helped to generate a data base of registered events to facilitate information sharing between the Registry and other agencies like the Ghana Statistical Service, Electoral Commission, National Insurance Trust and the National Identification authority.

He said when the 10 Regional Offices get fully computerised; they would facilitate data captured at the community and district levels into the national database.

The Director of the Births and Deaths Registry, Reverend Kingsley Asare Addo, advised the public to be abreast with the official fees charged for services and demand receipts.

This, he noted, would reduce the reported cases of extortion and corruption levelled against personnel of the registry.

Rev Addo explained that it takes ten working days to process all legal documents of the registry.

“Registration of all children before their first birthday and registration of deaths within 30 days of it occurrence are respectively free of charge”, he noted.