Alexandre Marie Yomo remarked the strategic place of civil status offices in the above centres and promised to examine and solve problems tabled for maximum output.
The Mother and Child centre of the Chantal Biya Foundation and the Nkolndongo Entertainment and Health Centre (CASS) are two structures wherein Bunec has opened civil status registration offices with the support of mayors of the respective council areas. It was therefore in a bid to have an idea of the functioning of these offices in gathering civil status data that the General Manager of Bunec undertook the working visit.
CASS Nkolndongo, situated in the Yaounde IV council, is the main maternity in the area, with about 4,200 births recorded per year. With such a high rate of births, it was considered strategic that a civil status office be set up, in order to help parents establish birth certificates immediately a child is born. Since its creation in December 2020, 2875 births have been declared, 1988 certificates established and 1433 withdrawn so far according to the head of the office, Mboy Manga Yolande. In its nine months of existence, the head of the Office highlighted such problems as limited office space to receive those soliciting their services, lack of office material like computers and printers and insufficient staff. Meanwhile, at the Chantal Biya foundation, Mbouda Fokou Jeanne, head of the civil status registry highlighted that the office has been functional since February 18 and they use vaccination as well as consultation days to sensitize mothers on the importance of establishing certificates for their children. She nonetheless complained that they did not have uniforms that differentiate them from hospital staff. “We visited and listened to the difficulties faced by those working in these offices and we will examine the problems tabled which ranged from technical to functional and organisational. With the support of the Mayors, we will see what needs to be done to better the situation,” Alexandre Yomo said.
A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of Public Health and the National Civil Status registration office and it is within this framework that these offices, which are different from civil status registration centres, were created. These offices are under main centres lodged in councils. According to a study done by Bunec in June 2020, some 210,000 school going children in the Centre region don’t have birth certificates. Since the setting up of Bunec in 2016, it has intensively communicated and sensitized in this light and has been facilitating the acquisition of these documents. These offices are therefore serving the purpose in registering births and deaths and collecting civil status data.