The influence of environmental factors on infant and child mortality: a study of six districts in Kenya
Kimani, Paul W
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This study examines the influence of selected micro-environmental factors on infant and child mortality. They are defined as micro because the environmental risks investigated do not extend beyond the mother and the room they inhabit. The environmental threats at this level are; poor housing conditions. crowding, inaccessibility and unavailability of clean water and sanitation as measured by types of latrines and bathrooms. The focus of the study was on six districts, namely, Kwa.le, Embu, Mombasa, Kirui. Baringo and South Nyanza, covered in the National Household Welfare Monitoring and Evaluation Survey (NHWMES) of 1991. The investigation was divided into four chapters. Chapter one gi ves the statement of the problem, the objectives, the frameworks utilized, historical background of mortality in developing countries, including Kenya and a general background of the six districts examined. Chapter two discusses and presents all the data utilized in this research and describes the models, both demographic and statistical, used in this study. Chapter three examines the relationship between infant and child mortality and the independent factors. TIle methods adopted here are simple cross tabulations and multivariate regression analysis. Chapter four gives a summary of the findings, conclusions and recommendations for funher studies.' This is followed by selected references and an appendix. Cross-tabulations showed a close and consistent relationship between the environmental variables and mortality. On the other hand, socioeconomic and demographic variables, considered as controls in this srudy showed, in several instances, a more or less conflicting relationship with mortality. Particularly disturbing was the lack of mothers education to adhere to the traditionally observed relationship with mortality, that is, increasing education is related to higher child survival. A mulsivariate analysis was used to examine this data for selected environmental variables. controlled for socioeconomic and demographic factors. r was found that a significant correlation existed between infant and child mortality and sanitation aspects such as types of latrines and bathrooms, availability and accessibility of water and type of housing material, and these results varied depending on the district under investigation. Mortality was also found to be significantly related to demographic factors, that is age and marital status, and to a lesser extent, on income and education. Controlling for extraneous variables was thus vital as it enabled the investigator to observe the un-confounded influence of environmental factors on mortality. Thus the hypothesized relationship, were confirmed.
CitationA thesis submitted to the population studies and research institute as partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of master of arts (population studies), university of Nairobi
Institute of population Studies and research