Infant and child mortality differentials in low and high mortality zones in Kenya
Studies of infant and child mortality by several researchers in the past have revealed the nature and extent thereby contributing important findings for sound policy making. Although mortality in general and infant and child mortality in particular, have declined in Kenya and other developing countries, the effects of HIV/AIDS and structural adjustment programme (SAP) are creating a new dimension in demographic trends in Kenya. For instance, In 1993 world data sheet, IMR for Kenya was 63 per 1000 live births. In 1994 and 1995 World Data Sheets, the parameter was projected to be higher 66 and 69 per 1000 live births respectively. Thus further study lS required child mortality. This study attempted in the quest to understand infant and to examine infant and child mortality differentials between low and high mortality zones taking Central Province and Coast Province as case representatives. Kenya Demographic and Heal th Survey (KDHS, 1993) was the Source of Secondary data and Trussell's indirect technique was employed in the data analysis. The variables selected for the study were maternal education, Source of drinking water, Breastfeeding and Tetanus Injection before birth. Estimates for IMR (1q0)' CMR(1q4)' q2' q3 and q5 were computed and Life table was constructed for each variable based on Coale and Demeny West Model probabili ty of survival. The findings were that maternal education is inversely related to infant and child mortality in Central Province. In Coast Provih~e women with secondary education conformi ty with the preset hypothesis. Regarding did not show Breastfeeding, women currently breast feeding experience lower IMR and CMR and higher life expectancy than those who do not currently breastfeed. An astounding result was found regarding the association of source of drinking water and infant and child mortality that mothers who use tap water" experience lower child survival than those who use other types of drinking water such as river/well/etc. Finally, mothers who received tetanus injection before birth experience better chance of child survival than th6se who did not receive. Recommendations for policy making and for further study are also suggested.