The effect of individual and contextual factors on infant mortality in Kenya
Zibeon, Sore M
MetadataShow full item record
In this study an attempt is made to examine the effects of various factors on infant mortality in Kenya. These factors are grouped into two general categories - those associated with the individual woman/child and those associated with the social and environmental setting within which they live. The first set of variables is identified as "individual variables" and includes variables such as age of woman, education, sex of child, etc. The second set of variables constitute. the "contextual variables" and includes variables such as availability of health facilities, water supply, sanitation and prevalence of malaria. The objective is to examine the combined effect of all the factors on infant mortality, a deviation from most studies which have only focused on individual factors. The study employs two statistical models, the ordinary Least Squares and the logistic regressions in examining the relationships between these two sets of variables and mortality. The findings indicate that while most variables included in the model were significantly related to mortality, breast feeding and the number of pregnancies to a woman in particular are major determinants of mortality in the country. Even more important, the findings show that the effect of the contextual variables on infant mortality is stronger at the regional level where for some regions large percentages of population have poor access to such facilities as health services, water supply and sanitation. Thus infants born in such regions have lower chances of survival given that their individual characteristics already exposes them to higher mortality. One important contextual variable is the high prevalence of malaria in some regions. It has a strong positive effect on mortality in those areas. The findings point to the fact that efforts aimed at reducing infant mortality in Kenya must focus, not only on individual characteristics of the population, but also with greater emphasis on the distribution of essential facilities, water supply, health services, as well as eradication of malaria.
xmlui.dri2xhtml.METS-1.0.item-identifier-citationA Dissertation submitted to the Department of Sociology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy