National Population Commission (NPC) in Anambra state said it would not be overwhelmed by the increasing number of births recorded during the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
The NPC Federal Commissioner in the state, Mr. Chidi Ezeoke gave the assurance during the ocassion of the 2020 World Population Day, with the theme, “Putting the Brakes on COVID-19: How To Safeguard The Health and Rights of Women and Girls Now.”
Ezeoke said the Commission was prepared to register all the births in view of the staff strength.
Represented by the State Director, Ulasi Joachin, Ezeoke said the Commission directed its staff to report to work daily in order to meet up with the demands.
He said, “As you know, the Head of Service directed that all federal staff from GL14 and above should be going to work, with exception of those on essential duties. The same applied to the NPC as one of federal agencies of government.
“But because we’re registering births and deaths, our staff who are below level 14 are working to solve the upsurge challenge ocassioned by the pandemic. I think we’re fully prepared for the challenge.
“Besides, as part of the agencies on essential duty, you’ll also see our staff in the various Health Centers, and at the Local Government offices just to ensure the registration of these births are adequately covered.”
The Commissioner further disclosed that the Commission in the state had taken delivery of 21 pieces each of laptops, tablets, printers and generators for the pilot survey in the 148 registration centers.
He added, “We’ve so far demarcated a total of six Local Government Areas of Awka, Ekwusigo, Aguata, Anambra East, Idemili and Dunukofia, remaining 15 council areas.
“We’re expecting the remaining items soon from the headquarters or from our donor agencies” he added.
According to the NPC boss, the choice of the theme was informed by the greater percentage of women and girls in the informal sector affected by the lockdown.
“Our concentration is on women because they are the worst hit. The lockdown impacted more negatively on them than their male counterparts.
“Yet another effect of COVID-19 on women and girls is the noticable increase in gender based violence ranging from rape, physical and emotional assault, some of which have resulted in loss of lives,” he stressed.