Civil Status : How Far With Cameroon’s Strategic Review?

The 65 billion FCFA project aims to register all births in health facilities by 2030.

The Cameroon government and its development and technical partners have undertaken a strategic review of the country’s civil status registration system. Under the plan, which runs from 2018 to 2022, the country expects to register all births in health facilities by 2030. Similarly, 100 per cent of births outside of health facilities are also expected to be registered by 2030.
According to sources in the National Civil Status Registration Office, BUNEC, implementation of the strategic plan is already underway. For example, BUNEC was created in May 2011, followed by the setting up of offices in all of the country’s 10 regions. Civil status registration centre registrars and secretaries have been trained and registers offered to ease their work.
Nevertheless, officials say some challenges still persist. These include the need for more political will to push on implementation of the strategic review plan; training of more field staff and increased resource mobilisation to fund activities. 
Birth registration is the official recording of the occurrence and characteristics of a birth by the civil registrar within the civil registry, in accordance with the legal requirements of a country. A birth certificate is a vital record, issued by the civil registrar documenting the birth of a child. Because it is a certified extract from the birth registration record, it proves that registration has occurred  making the document the first, and often only, proof of legal identity, particularly for children. 
On the other hand, civil status has to do with the situation of a person in their family and society. It includes aspects such as name, date of birth, sex, marital status, nationality, death, etc. Civil status documents are personal and the statistics so obtained – like births, deaths, marriages, fertility and mortality rates – are useful for development planning. Also, civil status registration ought to be wholesome, dependable and integral. 



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