The effect of birth intervals on infant mortality in Kenya
Kweyu, Nicholas L
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The main objective of this study was to examine the effect of birth interval on infant mortality in Kenya. The study population consisted of 7881 women ages (15-49) covered in the KDHS conducted in 2003. The study variables were; highest level of education, mothers work status, maternal age at birth, marital status, place of residence, region of residence, preceding and succeeding birth interval, birth order. The technique for quantitative data analysis employed was logistic regression model. From cross tabulation results, it was established that there were differentials in reporting of infants deaths across all characteristics of women. The results from the logistic regression show that out of the eight independent variables entered in this model, preceding birth interval, succeeding birth intervals, birth order, region of residence and mothers' education, were found to have a significant effect on infant mortality. The major conclusion derived from the study findings was that risk of infant death were very high among the rural women with a~t least primary education and significant regional differences in the risk of death was apparent in the data. The main policy implication of this study include empowerment of women through information, education and communication (including hygiene and reproductive health issues) which will in turn lead to women having ideal birth interval ranging between 24- 36 months, especially those in the rural areas. Therefore increasing access to information on sexual and reproductive health should be encouraged. Though other core factors known to influence infant mortality such as contraceptive use have not been covered in this research the study recommends further research to establish the influence of contraceptive use/non use on infant mortality.