JIS News

The mother of the first registered birth at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay on January 1, Dawnesha Bowell, was presented with a free birth certificate for her child by the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) on the same day. This act forms part of a promise made by the Ministry of Health and the RGD to deliver one free first copy of the birth certificate for every child born and is registered with a name at birth as at January 1.
Mrs. Bowell was among mothers at the five major hospitals across Jamaica – Victoria Jubilee, Spanish Town, Cornwall Regional, Mandeville and the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) – where the RGD Executive Management team conducted birth registration and presented birth certificates to those mothers who were among the first to deliver babies on January 1.The initiative is aimed at encouraging parents to name their babies and have them registered at birth or soon after.
Acting Regional Manager at the Montego Bay RGD Office, Daynielle Clarke, in presenting the first birth certificate in Western Jamaica to Mrs. Bowell, said the objective was to reduce the increasing number of late entry of names by mothers and also to ensure that all children are named.
“The RGD is ensuring that all children born as of January 1, 2007 are fully registered with a name, so that they can be entitled to their first free birth certificate coming from our office. With this initiative, we hope to reduce the number of mothers coming to do late entry of names for their children and also to ensure that by the time children reach the age to attend basic school, they will have their birth certificates on hand and will be fully accepted and registered at the school,” Miss Clarke told JIS News. She noted that the initiative was expected to continue from January onward and parents would be furnished with a free first copy of their child’s birth certificate within six weeks after registration of the child.
Mrs. Bowell was excited about being the recipient of a copy of her daughter’s birth certificate on the same day of her birth.
“I am so happy that I am the first mother in Western Jamaica (Hanover) to receive a free birth certificate and gift packages for my baby. She was born at approximately 3:10 a.m. and registered at about 6:15 a.m. I want to say thanks to everyone at the hospital and especially the Registrar General’s Department for everything,” Mrs. Bowell told JIS News.
The initiative by the Registrar General’s Department is expected to result in significant savings for parents, who will only have to pay $200 registration fee rather than the $950 required for registration and the birth certificate.