According to a report from UNICEF, birth registrations in 2014 and 2015 dropped sharply from pre-Ebola levels.
The report indicated: “in 2013, before the onset of the virus, the births of 79,000 children were registered. In 2014, when many health facilities had closed or had reduced services due to the Ebola response, the number of registrations fell to 48,000, a 39 per cent decrease over the previous year”.
UNCEF furthered: “Just 700 children are reported to have had their births registered between January and May 2015,”
Children who are not registered at birth officially don’t exist, and are without citizenship. These include children in Liberia who have already experienced terrible suffering because of Ebola, risk marginalization, as they may be unable to access basic health and social services, obtain identity documents, and will be in danger of being trafficked or illegally adopted, UNICEF mentioned.
UNCEF said they had helped increase birth registration rates in Liberia from 4 per cent – then the world’s second lowest rate – to 25 per cent in 2013.