Civil Registration & Vital Statistics

WHAT IS CIVIL REGISTRATION AND VITAL STATISTICS
The United Nations defines Civil Registration as the “continuous, permanent, compulsory and universal recording by registration of the occurrence and characteristics of vital events pertaining to the population as provided through decrees or regulation in accordance with the legal requirements of each country”.
It deals primarily with events that affect the civil status of the individual. Such events include births, deaths, stillbirths, marriages, annulment of marriages, foundlings, naturalization, etc. The laws of most countries, including Nigeria, make the recording of these events’ compulsory. The statistics generated from the exercise is referred to as ‘Vital Statistics’. These events are referred to as ‘Vital’ because they have to do with the individual’s entry into, and departure out of life, with the changes in civil status in his/her lifetime.

LEGAL FRAME WORK FOR CIVIL REGISTRATION
In Nigeria, the law on the registration of these events is Act 69 of 1992 otherwise known as ‘Births, Deaths, Etc (Compulsory) Registration’ Act.

BENEFITS OF CIVIL REGISTRATION
The uses of civil registration data can be grouped into three namely, Statistical, Medical and Administrate.

STATISTICAL BENEFITS
i. Vital statistics provides additional data independent of census, on measures, trends and patterns of fertility and mortality for the entire nation and for small geographical areas.

ii. Complete registration of births provides the sex ration at birth, which is a very important piece of information for use in population projections.

iii. The data from civil registration gives information on the seasonality of births and deaths. This has relevance for the planning of related services.

iv. The system is used as a check on census enumeration, particularly among the infant, child and young age groups, where under-enumeration is common.

v. Vital Statistics from the civil registration system is useful in population management programmes and for evaluating their effectiveness.

vi. In longitudinal surveys or genetic studies about fertility and mortality, data from civil registration is very useful

HEALTH SECTOR
i. Data on deaths and their causes are essential in the planning of health services for specific areas, as well as for the whole country. For example, statistics on cause of death are useful in forecasting the future direction of age-specific mortality.
ii. Epidemiological studies based on causes of morbidity, which have a strong influence in the reduction of mortality, are usually based on records of vital statistics generated by the system
ADMINISTRATIVE
i. Birth registration records provide the necessary legal and documentary evidence to certify a person’s age, parentage, birthplace, and nationality or citizenship.

ii. Birth certificates are used in the determination of a person’s eligibility for
enrolment in and admission into school, obtaining, a passport, employment,
age-group competitions, sports, entitlement to health care, voting in elections, etc.

iii. In order to enjoy other social benefits, such as family allowances, insurance
claims, child care allowances, tax relief, the birth certificate is usually
required.

iv. The records of death and death certificates provide legal evidence relevant
to claims of property, insurance benefits relating to deceased persons, the right of surviving spouses to remarry, and for family allowances.

v. Birth certificate helps to check incidences of child trafficking, early marriage for the girl child, child labor, child soldiers, police harassment and unlawful detention.

DISTRIBUTION OF REGISTRATION CENTERS OF NPC
The National Population Commission has about 4000 registration centers across the 774 LGAs of the Federation. There is a minimum of four registration centers in an LGA where there are more centers in urban LGAs and city capital than the Rural area. The centers have not been mapped but the Cartography department has commenced mapping.

CURRENT STATISTICS ON CIVIL REGISTRATION IN NIGERIA

Currently the National Population Commission registers Births, Deaths and Still Birth

Current statistics on Birth Registration is 53%, Death is at 10% and Still Birth is at 0%

WHAT IS RAPID SMS DASH BOARD
Rapid sms is an information tracking tool that collects data through “sms” and is web based. The dash board is the web plat form where all data collected through rapidsms are stored. It serves as a real time monitoring tool to enable LGA, State, Federal and other partners to react to vital statistics posted to the dash board more quickly.
The dash board can be viewed, information exported, displayed and printed if needed.