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30,000 deaths go unregistered every year in State

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Shastry V. Mallady

Owing to poor reporting mechanism in Police Department; registration stands at only 87 per cent

MADURAI: Around 30,000 deaths in the State are going unregistered every year because of poor reporting mechanism in the Police department.

Health department officials have found from a cross verification of hospitals’ records that unnatural deaths are not registered with the Birth and Death Registry in cases handled by the police like road accidents, suicides, murders and mass casualties.

“Nearly 4.5 lakh deaths occur every year in the State. When the Health officials verified the records, several names were not found in the death register,” R. Balasubramanian, Deputy Director (Training), State Bureau of Health Intelligence in the Directorate of Public Health (DPH), said on Wednesday.

Speaking to The Hindu here, he said that the DPH had taken up a ‘police sensitisation programme’ in 15 districts, including Madurai, to emphasise the role of police officers in reporting unnatural deaths to the concerned civic bodies.

According to him, the death registration was only 87 per cent in the State whereas registration of births was almost 99 per cent.

“As per the Registration of Births and Deaths Act 1969, all information has to be registered. Or else, the families have to face hardships in many ways, including in getting a legal heir certificate,” he said. Mr. Balasubramanian said that an orientation programme was held at the Collectorate here on Wednesday for around 75 police officers and a similar training would be given in other districts, including Salem, Tiruchi, Coimbatore and Tirunelveli.

He said that the Director of Public Health, the Chief Registrar of the State, was the implementing authority, who was closely monitoring the registration process.

The Health department’s Assistant Director, V. Soundararajan, said that in Madurai district around 300 deaths went unregistered each year. “Family members or officers involved in inquest can get in touch with the Health department offices and ensure that the names are registered,” he said.

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