Strengthening Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Asia and the Pacific
The Honourable Minister for Health and Medical Services Mr. Jone Usamate (front row 4th from left) and Director Health Information Research and Analysis Mr. Shivnay Naidu (second row 5th from left) attended the first meeting of the regional (Asia and Pacific) steering group in Bangkok, Thailand last week. Mr. Usamate was elected as the chair of the regional steering group with Bangladesh and Philippines as vice–chairs from 29 countries represented at the meeting. The Ministerial declaration to “Get Every One in the Picture” in November 2014 led to the declaration of Asian and Pacific Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Decade, 2015-2024 and formulation of the Regional Action Framework (RAF) on CRVS in Asia and the Pacific. The first meeting decided on approaches and modalities for providing regional support to the implementation of the RAF, reviewed the draft guidelines for implementation of the RAF and discussed the development of further tools and research to support the improvement of CRVS and developed the programme of work for the Regional Steering Group for the period 2015–2019.
Newly appointed chair of the Regional Steering Group, Honourable Mr. Jone Usamate, Minister for Health and Medical Services, Fiji, acknowledged the importance of regional knowledge-sharing to advance CRVS systems: “Knowledge exchange and sharing lessons learnt is an integral part of strengthening CRVS in countries,” he said. “Strong political support, innovative ideas and integrating existing information systems lead to developing country-led doable action items through collaborative development partners’ assistance.” Fiji with its National CRVS committee comprising of members from Registrar General’s Office, Fiji Bureau of Statistics, Government ITC services and the Ministry Health & Medical Services continues to work together in close partnership to accelerate its efforts to strengthen CRVS systems in Fiji to ensure every Fijian is registered.