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Story Highlights

  • Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, has reiterated the need for countries in the Caribbean to strengthen their civil registration systems as a key part of good public health planning.
  • He noted further that having data on maternal and infant mortality will allow countries to design programmes to mitigate these issues.
  • Director General of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCCA), Nari Williams-Singh, in his greetings, said his entity is pleased to support the RGD in hosting the inaugural conference.

Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, has reiterated the need for countries in the Caribbean to strengthen their civil registration systems as a key part of good public health planning.

“Countries need to have an accurate picture as to how many people are born and how many persons die each year. They also need to know the causes of deaths in order to have well functioning health systems,” he pointed out.

Dr. Tufton’s remarks came in a prepared text read by Chairman of the Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA), Wayne Chen at the Caribbean Civil Registration and Identity Management Conference at the Hyatt Ziva Resort in Rose Hall, St. James on July 7.

The Health Minister argued that it is difficult for Governments to design good health policies or measure their impact, when deaths go uncounted and their causes are not properly documented.

He noted further that having data on maternal and infant mortality will allow countries to design programmes to mitigate these issues.

“These records will also allow for the identification of populations in public health risk categories. Fetal deaths and other death data give critical information on mortality or the cause of deaths for the outcome data on pregnancies,” he pointed out.

He commended the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) for carrying out its mandate in recording vital events in Jamaica and taking a leadership role in the staging of the regional civil registration conference.

He noted that the RGD has over 7 million births in its database. “It has established itself as a model for the Caribbean and leadership is expected,” Dr. Tufton said.

Director General of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCCA), Nari Williams-Singh, in his greetings, said his entity is pleased to support the RGD in hosting the inaugural conference.

He noted that civil registration has increasing relevance in the travel industry.

“This is particularly so in the area of border security as well as the need to ensure a common level of integrity in the issuing of travel and identification documents,” he pointed out.

He said the JCAA looks forward to continuing partnerships to strengthen civil registration systems, as it supports statistics-based and other development initiatives.

“These partnerships will continue to be important as Jamaica joins our international partners in collaborating for development, establishing more effective and fraud-resistance practices in cross-border identification management, and ensuring a consistent level of security and integrity across the travel continuum,” Williams-Singh said.