Determinants of childrens health status in Kenya
Musau, Susan M
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This study used the Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey of 2005/2006 to analyze the determinants of children health status in Kenya. The children that were considered for analysis in the sample are between the ages of 0 to 60 months. Nutritional measures of height for age, weight for age, and the weight for height scores were used as measures of children nutritional status. This was a quantitative study that employed both descriptive and econometric methods to help achieve the study objectives. Descriptive statistics show that of the total number of children considered for analysis 40.31 %, 17.89%, and 7.76 % were chronically malnourished, acutely malnourished, and wasted respectively. The OLS regression indicated that, child characteristics are important factors for the health and nutritional status of a child. Household characteristics such as household expenditure, maternal years of education, household size, household residence, absolute poverty level and region were found to have significant impact on child nutritional status. Community variables found to significantly improve children nutritional status are tap and protected water sources and availability of a sanitary facility. This study recommends that the government should ensure that more girls enroll and complete secondary and college/university education. It should also ensure that communities have access to clean water sources and sanitary facilities in the homesteads. Household incomes should be boosted through income generating projects so that they can increase consumption of food in the household. Increased home production of food should be encouraged so that there is enough food for household members and some surplus to sell in the market to generate extra household income.