Official Distribution of Birth Certificates and Health Cards for Gabon's National Health Insurance and Social Guarantee Office (CNAMGS)
Libreville, 11 May 2021 - As part of the Joint Citizenship and Social Protection programme run by the Ministry for Health and Social Affairs, in cooperation with UNICEF, the national campaign to issue birth certificates and registration cards for Gabon's National Health Insurance and Social Guarantee Office (CNAMGS) to eligbile children who had, until then, been stateless, was officially launched on Tuesday 10 May.
The ceremony took place in Libreville City Hall and was attended by Minister, Justine Libimbi, Governor of the Estuaire Province Dikoumba, Mayor of Libreville Christine M'ba N'dutume, and UNICEF Deputy Representative Mr Donatien Tameko.
After a long process to identify stateless children—which first began in 2018 in Greater Libreville and before being gradually extended to the nine other provinces in Gabon—the ceremony officially marked the handing over of birth certificates and CNAMGS health cards to 10,196 recipients in the Estuaire Province who will now be able to benefit from their fundamental rights and access the services of Gabon's National Health Insurance and Social Guarantee Office (CNAMGS).
The Minister for Health and Social Affairs took the opportunity to reiterate the Gabonese government's committment to tackling this social problem and ensuring that thousands of Gabonese children no longer remain stateless, but rather be given a legal status with all the associated rights and thus benefit from the various child protection services available under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Gabon on 9 February 1994, and Law no. 003/2018 of 18 March 2019 on the Children's Code in the Republic of Gabon which grants each child the right to live, grow up, and develop in an environment free of discrimination.
In his speech, UNICEF Deputy Representative Mr Donatien Tameko noted that, "A child or person who does not have a legal status, i.e., in relation to the law and civil procedures, 'does not exist', even if the community has given him or her a name and kinship. To create a more inclusive social protection system and ensure that no one is left behind, one of the main causes of social exclusion must be addressed, namely the lack of legal status."
Following progress in the Estuaire Province, the registration procedure and distribution of health cards will be extended further inland over the next few weeks in line with the planned timeframe. Beneficiaries can already consult their names at their local town hall, prefecture or via this link: http://sante.gouv.ga/events.twg?id=884.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.