Environmental risk factors and under five mortality in Kenya: Analysis of KDHS 2008
Nyamboki, Winnie A
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This paper investigates environmental risk factors as affecting child mortality in Kenya. A duration model framework to capture socio-economic, behavioural and environmental characteristics is constructed. The model is estimated using the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) (2008). The specific objectives of the paper are to explore how aspects of the household environment affect child mortality and to establish the effect of environmental determinants on child mortality in the presence of other factors in Kenya. I find that maternal education and wealth status are strongly associated with a reduced risk of child mortality. It is found that environmental factors that a household is exposed to are a reflection of the socioeconomic status and hence living standards. It has been established that low mortality is associated with improved water sources, improved toilet facilities and the use of non-biomass fuels. There is evidence suggesting that sanitation has a more pronounced effect than water. The policy implications to the government and relevant stakeholders is to support efforts of having more women transit to secondary education since this lowers the risk of under five mortality among mothers in Kenya. Secondly, there is need to allocate more resources to health and related sectors to enhance public awareness on cleaner environmental conditions and the use of cleaner fuels for cooking and heating.