JIS News

Chief Executive Officer of the Registrar General’s Department (RGD), Dr. Patricia Holness, has reported that error rates for the registration of births, marriages and deaths, have been reduced to less than one per cent as a result of increased focus on civil registration.
“In 1995, the error rates for births stood at 35 per cent, which meant that 35 per cent of all birth registrations recorded at the RGD had some kind of error,” Dr. Holness said as she addressed the launch of phase two of the Name the Child Project recently at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston.
She said that marriages reported errors of 20 per cent, while the “error rates for deaths were even more alarming at 50 per cent, with fetal and neonatal deaths, that is, deaths within 28 days of the birth of the infant, being has high as 70 percent in 1995.” She said that since becoming an Executive Agency in 1999, civil registration has become more critical within the organization.
“So important is this aspect of registration that our mission statement includes this particular area,” she informed, noting that the agency has introduced a number of innovations to ensure that Jamaica’s civil registration system is of the highest standard.
These innovations, she said, include extensive training of key stakeholders including staff, local district registrars, marriage officers and funeral directors.
“Over 300 local district registrars have been trained and many are now employed to the RGD on performance contracts. We have also rationalized over 120 registration districts in order to promote greater efficiency,” the CEO explained.
Additionally, she noted that the members of the Civil Registration Department at the RGD have been trained in the use of ICD 10 codes, which is the international standard for classifying diseases.
“Our doctors have also been exposed to training and at the University of the West Indies, those persons who are closing their training period, would have some information related to them about how to classify the disease at the time of death,” Dr. Holness continued.
She also pointed out that the RGD is now working closely with funeral directors islandwide to improve the collection of data relating to deaths in the island.
Meanwhile, Dr. Holness noted that this year, the RGD will be moving a step further to improve its data collection by bringing hoteliers into its network of stakeholders and granting them access to the RGD’s Application Tracking System to track their applications for marriage certificates.
The RGD is the only organization in Jamaica which is responsible for recording all vital events such as births, deaths, marriages and stillbirths occurring in Jamaica and Jamaican waters, for the purposes of providing timely and accurate statistical data to support planning by Government.

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