from RUSSELL ADADEVOH in Accra, Ghana
ACCRA – A TECHNOLOGY expert believes the under-reporting of the death rate is likely overshadowing Africa’s resilience to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Mindaugas Glodas, Chief Executive Officer at NRD Companies, attributed the inaccurate infection and mortality count to an absence of civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems.
NRD is a global IT and consulting group of companies specialising in e-governance.
He said for example, in Ghana, each death was recorded by hand, which increased the likeliness of error.
The executive said an accurate infection and mortality count was especially difficult with currently around 1 billion people, the majority of them in sub-Saharan Africa, without any legal identification.
Glodas said for an effective CRVS system, legal frameworks, technology, institutional and organizational settings as well as services must be addressed.
He said a strong legal and regulatory framework aligned with international law protects the confidentiality of personal data and ensures that data could be securely shared between approved departments.
Technology allows extending registration coverage, standardizing and streamlining processes, and integrating data, all at a low cost, while governmental support and commitment of all stakeholders provides necessary resources.
Glodas noted services have to be backed by demand for registration certifying documents that are generated by other sectors, fiscal or incentives to register and other factors.
“We have already seen with Ebola, measles and other diseases in Africa how vitally important it is to have a functioning civil registration system,” Glodas said.
He said the COVID-19 gave Africa a unique opportunity to include CRVS into their top priorities in recovery packages.
“It is not enough to eradicate the results of the crisis—it is much more important to go to the root cause of the problem and start there.”
Africa has recorded over 3,3 million cases and around 81 000 deaths. Globally, there have been 96,7 million cases and 2 million deaths.
– CAJ News