Majority of deaths in Kenya not registered

Graves on a permanent section of the Langata cemetery. /FILE
Graves on a permanent section of the Langata cemetery. /FILE

At least 30 per cent of births and about 60 per cent deaths in Kenya are not recorded.

Director of Civil Registration Services Department Janet Mucheru is asking mothers to ensure they don't leave hospitals without a birth notification.

She was speaking on Friday during the commemoration of the first Africa Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Day at St Thomas Barnados Children's Home in Nairobi.

This year's theme is "Promoting Innovative universal civil registration and vital statistics system for good governance and better lives".

"A complete population register will require 100 per cent coverage of all births and deaths in the country. At present, births and deaths registration coverage stand at 60.9 and 41.9 respectively," she said.

Mucheru said birth certificates are vital documents especially after the Education Ministry introduced registration of learners on the National Education Management Information System early this year.

The director said it is tedious to process the document when the child grows beyond six months.

"Not having records through civil registration renders most of the world's poor invisible and marginalised, exposing them to be victims of exploitations and human rights violations which in turn limits their access to socio-economic benefits of their country," she said.

She urged all stakeholders to ensure there is a universal civil registration system with the agenda of leaving no one behind.

She said most people in Africa are born and die without leaving a trace in any legal record or official statistics such as births, deaths and other vital events in between.