0357 - Child Health Days (CHD): an opportunity to strengthen birth registration
To determine whether linking birth registration (BR) to CHD in Senegal is acceptable, feasible and increases coverage of the number of children registered, thus opening their access to other child rights, particularly education.
CHD are implemented nationally twice a year in Senegal and include Vitamin A supplementation, deworming, catch-up on routine immunization, and screening and referral for treatment of severe acute malnutrition. In 4 departments with low BR rates, BR was linked to CHD from 2012 to 2014. Children who were less than one year old without a birth certificate (BC) were identified by a community health worker (CHW) who was engaged specifically to help identify children. The CHW then entered the child’s personal data in a register. The BCs were issued at the local civil registration agency after a few days.
21,666 children less than one year old without a BC were identified during these 6 events, all of whom subsequently received a BC. Some resistance from mothers in sharing personal information was reported as they did not understand why this activity was conducted by CHW and not civil registration agents. Coverage of other interventions included in the CHD remained high (>80%), suggesting that they were not negatively affected.
The results from these 6 rounds of CHD indicate that linking BR to CHD is feasible and improves coverage of BR, however acceptability by mothers showed initial resistance and would need to be addressed in future events. The scaling-up to other regions in Senegal is currently considered.
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