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Table of Contents   
LETTER TO THE EDITOR  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1361-1362
Strengthening civil registration system on a global scale: Offering double benefit for the policy makers and the community


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication6-Nov-2017
 

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Strengthening civil registration system on a global scale: Offering double benefit for the policy makers and the community. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1361-2

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Strengthening civil registration system on a global scale: Offering double benefit for the policy makers and the community. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Sep 23];10:1361-2. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/5/1361/196602


Dear Sir,

Civil registration refers to the procedure of continuous recording and documentation of vital events (like birth, marriage, divorce, adoption, and death) in an individual's life and is one of the basic activities of the government.[1] It has been acknowledged as the most authentic source of information on issues of births, deaths, and causes of death.[1] However, the current global estimates suggest that almost 50–66% of the births and deaths goes unregistered respectively on an annual basis and these figures reflect a massive gap in the current status of the efficiency of the registration system.[1] Despite a rise of 7% in the global birth registration rates in the last decade, even now in excess of 100 developing nations lack a streamlined mechanism to ensure comprehensive registration of vital events.[1],[2]

The registration system plays a crucial role in the provision of documented proof to ensure an individual's identity, nationality, exercising their rights, inherit property from parents or divorced spouse, and avail basic services like health, education, and social welfare opportunities (such as employment, right to vote, starting a bank account, etc.).[2],[3] From a nation's perspective, based on the collected sociodemographic attributes, predominant health concerns can be identified, evidence-based policies can be formulated, mobilization of resources can be effectively planned, the challenge of inequity in service delivery can be addressed, and even future plans can be formulated.[1],[4]

A wide range of factors like poor awareness among people regarding the significance of registration of these events, lack of priority among the other existing health issues, deficient policies or no legal obligations for compulsory registration, underfunded system, shortage in number of personnel, untrained status of the existing staff, poor financial remuneration of the staff, adherence to the conventional methods, poor supervision, absence of integration among different departments pertaining to the collected data, and so on have been identified to explain the poor status of the registration system.[1],[2],[3]

The ultimate aim is to ensure universal registration of all vital events, including cause of death, for all the individuals by the year 2030.[2] Acknowledging the importance of the civil registration in the progress of the nation and minimizing inequity among people from different socioeconomic class, multiple interventions like simplifying the entire procedure; improving the health care services for the women and children to indirectly aid in birth registration; initiating the registration system within the existing structures; enabling global coordination by sharing technical knowledge; devising financing mechanisms to support the various activities of the registration system; and adopting modern information–communication–technology tools to collect, store, integrate, transfer, and retrieve information from various sources; have been implemented to establish an efficient and streamlined information systems.[1],[2],[3],[4]

To conclude, the civil registration system currently has multiple deficiencies and lacks comprehensiveness. It is the need of the hour to strengthen it at all possible levels to ensure that both the general population and the program managers are benefited in the long run.

Acknowledgement

SRS contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

PSS contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

JR contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
World Health OrganizationCivil registration: why counting births and deaths is important - Fact sheet No. 324; 2014. Available from: http://who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs324/en/. [LastAccessed 2016 May 27].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Bank Group, World Health OrganizationGlobal civil registration and vital statistics. Scaling up investment plan 2015-2024 Geneva: WHO Press; 2014. p. 1-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Singh PK, Kaur M, Jaswal N, Kumar R. Impact of policy initiatives on civil registration system in Haryana. Indian J Community Med 2012;37:122-5.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
4.
Schmidt M, Pedersen L, Sørensen HT. The Danish Civil Registration System as a tool in epidemiology. Eur J Epidemiol 2014;29:541-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
    

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Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur Guduvanchery Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.196602

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