Table of Contents
Definition of Vital Registration
The UN handbook on vital registration defines statistics defines vital registration as a system which includes legal registration, statistical recording, registration and reporting of the occurrences, the compilation, analysis, presentation and the distribution of statistics pertaining to vital events. The registration method is continuous, permanent and compulsory. The registration should take into account occupations, the characteristics of these vital events mostly for their values and secondly for their usefulness.
Onorkehohoraye A (1985) defines vital registration as the formal recording of occurrences of vital events including birth, death, marriages, divorces etc. These events are referred to as vital events. They are vital because they relates to all events that have to do with an individual entering into life and his exit from life. They are also vital because they deal with our status and the changes that takes place within those year.
History of Vital Registration
The history of vital registrations started around 14th century when local records were being kept by church parishes in Europe. The list of church members where compiled; baptismal records were also kept, wedding records and such other records were kept by churches for reference purposes. The list of baptismal, burials, weddings were all kept around the 19th century. France was one of the first or even the first that started keeping their records around 1308 and then in Spain in 1497 these records were being used mostly in churches before they became official in the 19th century. The bills of death were an English institutions that show the number of death, causes of death. Civil registrations were introduced in England and Whales around 1854. By 1874, it was an offense not to register a birth or a death in England. In 1784, the registration of still birth became compulsory in Sweden and it became mandatory to tabulate all records at the end of the year.
Vital registration should be continuous, it is compulsory and should be backed by law. It is therefore very important that these events are recorded in every country.
The vital events that are very important in demography are:
- Births: this is the actual reproductive performance of a population, it refers to life birth were the child that is born shows sign of life even if it is for a minute before it dies. Cox (1978) defines birth as the complete explosion or extraction from its mother of a product of conception irrespective of the duration of pregnancy which after separation shows a sign of life.
- Still birth: this is when a child is expelled from the womb of the mother and does not show any sign of life such as heart beat, that child is said to have died before it was born.
- Foetal death– a foetal death is a miscarriage, the child is lost before natural birth. The foetus does not show any sign of life and does not breath at all.
- Abortion: this is when that same foetus is forcefully removed from the womb, this will be achieved through the use of contraceptives and the use of D and C.
- Legal separation: in cases like this, the husband and wife go to the court to seek for the legal opinion as to whether their marriage should continue to exist or not. It is the duty of the court based on the submissions of the couples and the prevailing circumstance. The court may decide to separate the couples so they could live apart but no divorce has been entered into record. At the appropriate time when the couple think they can still stay together, they are free to come back together again and then live under the same roof as before.
- Divorce: this is the legal termination of the marriage or dissolution of marriage by the court of law. In this case, the court rules that the marriage no longer exist. in a divorce situation, either the husband or the wife is free to remarry.
- Marriage: this is the union of a man and a woman contracted either in the church, court, mosque or traditionally.
- Adoption: this is defined as taking into co-study a child that is biologically not your own child but must be done in the consent of a court.
The usefulness of vital registration is regarded as the product of vital registration or the statics of vital registration. Vital registration is the recording of vital events on the other hand, it is the product of vital registration or certificate issued to you after your registration. In the course of vital registration, the following should be considered- process and product of vital registration.
Process of vital registration- the process of vital registration refers to the registration itself. For instance, when you go to a registration officer, you give him your particulars and these are recorded in a vital register. The evidence of that registration is the certification that you would be given.
Product of vital registration- the product of the process ( registration) is the certificate issued to you. This certificate (product) is what is useful in the registration.
This is the accumulation of the certificate or the products that have resulted from vital registration
Importance of Vital Registration
Vital registration are very important and can be categorized into three
Administrative uses, Statistical uses and Medical uses.
- It shows percentage of a child
- It lays claims to property of a family
- It helps in providing admission or entrance into school
- It is a prove that you belong to a particular family or that you are what you are
- It disqualifies or qualifies you for employment
- It give legitimacy when entering into certain job
- Death certificate is useful in approving burial grounds for deceased persons
- They show legitimacy that one can inherit of a deceased persons
- It authorizes a spouse to remarry.
- Marriage certificate is useful because it allows one to be eligible to certain types of accommodations
- It is assists the person to certain rebirth
- It helps people in getting some kind of jobs
- It introduces stability to the person involved
- It can aid one to contract a new marriage
- It enables one to get into certain functions
- It helps one to claim alimony.
- It give information on the order of birth, place of birth and date of birth
- It gives information on many other demographic variables that can complement census information
- It gives information on the sex ratio especially sex ration at birth
Death certificate (medical uses)
- The death certificate is very useful medically because it provides information into
- Medial geography for example, the cause of death, the place of death, the age of death, disease type.
- It gives us information as to how to tackle/suppress some epidemics that have attained some proportion. For example it tells us about the type of disease and the spread of disease
- It helps to tackle the epidemics and also tells us the source of the disease
- It tells us the method of spread of that disease and how to get the method of control of the disease