Malawi: National Registration Bureau Registers 50,000 Deaths in 6 Years

Various social commentators, including traditional leaders, have commended the National Registration Bureau (NRB) for its death registration initiative saying it is impactful as far as government’s economic planning and development is concerned.

Senior Chief Malemia of Zomba said the rolling out of death certificates, among others, helped the chiefs to know exactly how many people were living in their areas and in turn helped the central government in its planning.

“Through death registration, the government is aware of areas where death is common and the causative factors.

“Because government is aware of people living in a particular area it is guided in terms of areas of assistance as well as development,” Malemia said.

NRB spokesman, Norman Fulatira, said the Bureau has registered 50, 000 deaths through the national death registration programme.

He said on Tuesday that the figures are from 2015 when the Bureau started registering and issuing death certificates.

“Although there is progress on the programme, there is lack of interest amongst Malawians to register people or relatives who have died, and this is one of the many factors that is a setback to the success of the initiative,” Fulatira said.

Malawi introduced death registration in August 2015 with the aim of having actual numbers of people living in a particular area.

“It is important as it helps the government in developmental planning,” said Fulatira.

He said the bureau has since rolled out the programme to all the 28 districts with only 17 districts doing registration at community level.

Fulatira said community registration has been adopted to fasten the process and ensure that every death is registered than was the case where people would only register at the district offices.

“We oriented stakeholders such as chiefs on death registration. Currently, we are in the process of rolling-out a community death registration system to all districts so that every death is registered,” he said.

Meanwhile, NRB has intensified awareness activities to ensure that people understand the importance of registering death.

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