Babies Get Ghana Card At Birth

An official explaining a point to Dr. Bawumia at the Child Welfare Unit of the Ga North Municipal Hospital


Government is leaving no stone unturned in its quest to digitalise the Ghanaian economy. Latest is its decision to issue Ghana (national) Card number at birth to newborns in the country.

This would provide them with unique identity numbers in addition to the issuance of birth certificates. With that, babies delivered in health facilities, would have their biometric details captured in the District Health Information System (DHIS) e-tracker at the community health posts or health centres, and lightwave in the hospitals.

The initiative was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, the Births and Deaths Registry and the National Identification Authority. These institutions have integrated their systems to facilitate the registration of newborns from zero to six years.

Speaking at the launch of the initiative at the Ga North Municipal Hospital in Accra yesterday, Dr. Bawumia said, the integration of the system would ensure that every child born in Ghana was immediately provided with a unique identity, linking them to their mother’s identity and securing their place within the national life.

Apart from that, he said it would also ensure the protection of their rights, effective planning of essential services like health, education and social welfare, which supports economic growth and poverty alleviation.

The Ghana Card at birth system begins from the antenatal period, where the mother’s record is associated with Ghana Card.

When the child is born, the new baby’s records are captured in the DHIS e-tracker at the health facility.

The notification of the birth is sent to the Births and Deaths Registry system, which then issues a birth registration number, and sends it back to the DHIS e-tracker or lightwave.

The Vice President was of the conviction that many of the country’s hurdles could be overcome through digitalisation. “The Ghana Card number at birth signifies a significant step in our quest to leverage technology for national progress,” he said.

“With a population exceeding 30 million and an annual birth rate of approximately 30 per 1,000 people, Ghana’s demographic landscape underscores the urgent need for a streamlined process for birth registration and identification issuance.

“This sizable population reflects both the vitality and challenges of our society, necessitating innovative solutions to ensure the welfare of citizens, particularly mothers and children,” he said.

“I am particularly pleased that the Ghana Card number at Birth allows registration at health facilities across the country, ensuring that no mother is excluded, regardless of her location or socio-economic status.

“This is especially crucial in rural areas where access to government services can be limited, and technology serves as a vital bridge.

“The Ghana Card at Birth is not just an ID; it’s a promise to our children of a future where their identity and rights are recognised from their very first breath,” Dr. Bawumia added.

He, therefore, noted that the initiative was a testament to the government’s commitment to building an effective, efficient, responsive, and accountable public sector that meets the needs of the Ghanaian citizenry.

Dr. Bawumia noted that an effective and efficient implementation of the system would offer numerous benefits to mothers and children.

The Ghana Card at birth provides a systematic and efficient method of registering births, ensuring that every child becomes part of the system from birth.

That would address a longstanding issue in Ghana where many births remain unregistered due to factors such as remote locations and insufficient awareness about the importance of birth registration.

He also said the system facilitates access to healthcare, education, and social welfare programmes, safeguarding the rights and entitlements of both mothers and children.

Ghana had made significant progress in improving healthcare access in recent years, and initiatives like the Ghana Card number at Birth would further contribute to ensuring all citizens avail themselves of essential services, he stated.

Additionally, the solution would lead to the digitisation of birth registration and identification processes, enhancing the security and integrity of personal data while reducing the risk of identity fraud. It would also help in the fight against child trafficking as rescued children could be reunited with their families.

Dr. Bawumia therefore commended all the partners, including the Births and Deaths Registry, Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, and National Identification Authority, for making this possible.

On his part, Dr. Patrick Kumah-Aboagye, the Director-General, Ghana Health Service (GHS), said the initiative was in tandem with the Service’s goal of registering 80 per cent births within 30 days.

He said the GHS had deployed e-tracking in 338 health facilities across the country to help in capturing data of newborns, for better data management and improved healthcare services.

The Executive Director of NIA, Professor Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, said the initiative would resolve the contestation of age and citizenship issues in the country.

He disclosed that the NIA would this year begin registering children from six to 15 years in schools, as well as Ghanaians in the diaspora.

Currently, 17.8 million Ghanaians have so far been registered onto the National Identification Register, Prof. Attafuah stated.

By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent