M’Mbelwa District Council principal registration officer Mbawaka Mwakhwawa has urged parents in Mzimba District to collect birth certificates for their children.
The call comes after the district registered low birth certificate collection rate. Out of 27 545 certificates, parents collected 7 450.
“Most certificates are not collected yet since we printed them in 2016. It could be that most people are not aware of the importance of birth certificates,” said Mwakhwawa.
He said birth certificates provide proof of age; hence, in areas such as courts, one can be tried as a juvenile and not as an adult.
“Birth registration and issuance of birth certificates is compulsory and universal,” said Mwakhwawa.
In a separate interview, Manyamula Health Centre nurse Charity Banda agreed with Mwakhwawa that parents and guardians are not collecting birth certificates for their children.
“We will engage religious and traditional leaders to talk to people on the importance of birth certificates,” she said.
Government launched birth certificate registration on August 1 2016.
Birth registration and issuance of birth certificates is for all children below the age of 16.