28 Oct 2009

Vanuatu upbeat about text message birth registration project

5:39 pm on 28 October 2009

Vanuatu's civil status office is confident a new scheme using text messages for registering births and deaths will increase the number of registrations.

Only about 40 percent of the population is believed to be registered at present, as many forms aren't filled out or get lost on their way to the capital.

The country is trialling a new scheme on Epi and Santo distributing mobile phones to health workers, who will text the data to the civil status office.

The office's director Joe Iati is looking forward to good results.

"At the moment, there're duplications, where the office registers and the provincial office also registers. We're trying to upgrade our system, where there can be only one ID or number given to children who're born. And any time we'll try to enter two records for the same person, it'll be detected."

Joe Iati

If the pilot works well, it'll be extended to the whole country by the end of next year.