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Journalists urged to educate Ghanaians on importance of population census

Mr Eric Okrah, Monitoring and Evaluation Analyst at United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has urged the media to use their platforms to educate Ghanaians the importance of population census.

He said, population consensus is essential in the planning of resource distribution for development and that requires the cooperation of the citizenry and enumerators.

According to him, population census is the most cost effective exercise that must provide accurate data that meets international standard.

He disclosed that in Ghana, approximately 66% of new births is captured for data purposes whilst 34% is unaccounted for.

Statistically, he stated that the development impedes on the effectiveness of national planning.

In a presentation at a day orientation workshop organized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for Media Communication Advocacy Network (MCAN) members made up of journalists, he noted that population and development inevitably interrelate in the agenda of nation building.

These, he said makes it imperative to have a population census periodically.

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He stated that evidently, human reproduction has increased compared to death population.

“These have been as a result of modern technology and that has improved healthcare. Vaccines to rare diseases have been developed so the death population has reduced, for instance the reduction of child and maternal mortality. The implementation of immunization, childcare, doctor and nurse to maternal care ratio have improved, so it has reduced the death population.”

He added that migration is a major factor in population census.

Touching on the method adopted in the application of the 2021 population census, he said machines deployed for the exercise are technologically advanced.

“…now technology has advanced, so next year’s population census will be done with mobile technology devices programmed to directly capture questionnaire responses, geographical areas and all basic requirements intended for the exercise…so it captures all the responses and collated in a database in Accra, so it’s very advanced.”

According to him, the new method will eradicate challenges in data transmission from various areas across the country.

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Ghana undertook its first population censuses in 1890 and continued every decade until during the evolvement of world war II.

Over the period, the first modern census occurred after Ghana became a republic in 1960, and followed in 1970, however missed the next date of 1980 and rather took place in 1984, 2000 and 2010. For COVID-19, Ghana’s population census was expectant in 2020 but postponed to 2021.