28 Oct 2009

Vanuatu trials birth registration via cellphone

2:31 pm on 28 October 2009

Vanuatu is rolling out a new scheme using text messages for registering births and deaths.

Only about 40 percent of the popluation is believed to be registered at present as many forms go missing in the post .

Some forms are not filled out properly.

To counter that, the government is distributing mobile phones to clinics and rural health workers to gather data.

The director of internal affairs, George Bogiri, says the project was trialled on Epi Island and is now being extended on Santo.

"Our people in the rural areas will give them to people who work in hospitals so that when a baby is born, the information on the parents, the date of birth and any other information that's required is entered into the phone and sent directly to the registry."

George Bogiri says if the pilot works well, it'll be extended to the whole country by the end of next year.