March 29, 2013
Registering births in Ivory Coast, now possible via SMS
Approximately 66 percent of births in sub-Saharan Africa go unregistered, reports UNICEF. In Ivory Coast, however, mobile technology is offering an innovative way to bring that statistic down and make every birth count. At the helm of the campaign is the Môh Ni Bah project. RNW reports.
Môh Ni Bah also intends to prevent rural populations from having to travel long distances by registering births via their mobile phones. This seems logical since, as Ehui puts it, “people in villages own some of the latest mobile devices and know how to use them”.
How does it work? The organization operates with field agents who are trained to collect and transmit information to a data centre. There, the compiled information is checked for consistency and veracity and then sent to official birth registration centres.
Under the supervision of village leaders, trained agents use SMS or the Môh Bi Nah mobile app to submit information on new births to the data centre. A unique identification number gets instantly generated and the village chief records the number in a ledger that he oversees.
“The identification number can then be used by parents to apply for a birth certificate at the registrar’s office,” explains Ehui.
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