MASERU – The Ministry of Home Affairs has officially launched automated registration for both births and deaths, as part of King Letsie III’s 58th birthday celebrations.
The first registration machine was installed at Scott Hospital in Morija – Maseru, where His Majesty was born in 1963.
Speaking to Lesotho Express, Home Affairs minister Motlalentoa Letsosa said this new system would help ease the burden on Basotho who often have to wait for days in long queues before they can get assistance.
This instant registration is part of the on-going compulsory civil registration under the National Identity and Civil Registration (NICR) programme.
“From now on an expectant mother is expected to have a name ready for their unborn baby, it should be a name of a boy and a girl, and immediately at birth the new arrival’s data will be captured on the machine which is connected to the government’s main server in Mohale’s Hoek.
“When the mother is discharged, she will have on her the birth certificate, and in a case where the name is still not availed due to some cultural naming norms, the baby shall be registered by the mother’s names, due for amendment with full names on their six weeks’ vaccination visit at the clinic,” said Letsosa.
The registration is done in pursuit of Sustainable Development Goal 16, Target 16.9 which speaks into provision of universal legal identity and birth registration, ensuring the right to a name and nationality, civil rights and recognition before the law and access to justice and social services.
“The same goes with people who die in hospital. Once one is certified dead, their next of kin will immediately be furnished with a death certificate without having to go and queue at Home Affairs as it used to happen.”
Letsosa said by next week, the ministry will be rolling out similar machines in all government recognized health facilities nationwide.