Aim: To determine vital registration practice of household heads in an urban and rural community in Edo State, Nigeria.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out on 1,121 households, comprising 526 households urban (Oluku) and 595 in rural (Awoyemi) communities in Edo State. The respondents were selected by cluster sampling method. Structured, pre-tested, interviewer-administered questionnaire was the tool used for data collection. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 20.0.
Result: Majority of the respondents in the urban and rural communities were between ages 15-64 with mean ages 23.0 (SD = 0.4) and 24.0 (SD = 0.5) years respectively. The proportions of males to females were almost equal 49.6% and 50.4% while married 42.4% and widowed 2.3% were more in rural households. The nuclear family type was more prevalent in urban 427 (86.8%) than in rural with 461 (83.1%). Male household heads were prevalent in both communities. There were more polygamous marriages in the rural, 122 (21.7%) than in urban, 72 (13.2%). Most of the households sizes were between 1–5 members in both communities with mean household size of 2.8 (SD = 0.5) and 4.6 (SD = 0.5) for urban and rural respectively. Vital registrations were generally poor in both communities but better in urban than rural.
Conclusion: Registration of vital events was poor in both communities. There is need to improve on these deficiencies through health education to provide health planners necessary information to improve health care services.