Determinants Of Neonatal Mortality In North Eastern Region In Kenya
Ng’elu, Nashon K
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Neonatal mortality in Kenya is high, about 42% of the total under five mortality rates, signifying their importance in the overall mortality rates in Kenya. Majority of the neonatal mortalities are in the marginalized areas of Northern Kenya and pastoral communities. Kenya has an average of 22 deaths per 1000 live births with the three counties in the North Eastern region of Kenya having 24 deaths per 1000 live births. The main objective of the study was to identify the factors influencing neonatal mortality in North Eastern Kenya. Specific objectives included to establish whether maternal demographic variables, socioeconomic variables and newborn bio-demographic variables had an influence on neonatal mortality. The study used the 2014 KDHS data collected in the region of North Eastern Kenya. Neonatal mortality was analyzed using SPSS through Cox regression. Cox regression was used as the events (neonatal deaths) were few, countable and involved censored data. The findings were that maternal demographic factor influencing neonatal mortality was age at the delivery, with neonates born to women aged 35 years and above being 24.8 times likely to die within their first 28 days of life. Socioeconomic factors were not significant predictors of neonatal mortality. For child bio-demographic variables, size of child at birth was significant predictor of neonatal mortality, with neonates reportedly born average and large having 99.3% and 99.6% respectively reduced risk to death within the first 28 of life. In conclusion, age of the mother at birth, and the size of child at birth were significant predictors of neonatal mortality in North Eastern. Recommendations include designing and implementing sexual health and reproduction programs targeting women; policies to tackle right nutrition and health seeking behaviors; and advocacy messages on fertility targeting mothers on ages of giving birth, birth spacing, and seeking ante-natal care services. Future studies can be done to establish whether there are changes on the major predictors of neonatal mortality based on the successive KDHS data, and evaluate whether the region is on course towards achieving WHO “Every Newborn Action Plan” goal of neonatal mortality rate of below 10 deaths per 1,000 live births by 2035.
University of Nairobi
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