Determinants of under-5 mortality in Kenya during upsurge and declining trends period
Under-5 mortality remains to be high in Kenya in spite of the government efforts and increased interventions to help reduce its prevalence. A number of multi factors have led to this relatively increased rate especially in Kenya where poverty is still a concern. Mortality rates have been fluctuating with cases of decline as well as upsurge unlike a consistent decline. This study was carried out to examine the factors that were associated with under-5 mortality during the upsurge period using KDHS 2003 and those of decline period, using KDHS 2008/9. A total of 12,028 children under the age of five were captured in the two KDHS datasets out of which 875 of them died before their age of 5. KDHS study whose data was adopted used a structured questionnaire that was pretested to collect the household’s socio-economic, environmental and behavioral characteristics. The study findings have showed that in both KDHS 2003 and 2008, there is a significant variation on the under-5 mortality between children in households with improved sources of drinking water and those with a non-improved source of drinking water. Also, the duration of breast feeding, mother’s age at child birth as well as the family size significantly affects under-5 mortality in both datasets. However, place of delivery with children whose mothers delivered in their homes compared to those who deliver in the public and private health facility was only significant in KDHS 2008/9 data. The study concludes that increased use of both public and health facilities, prolonged breast feeding and delayed age of birth are among the main factors supporting the decline of under-5 mortality and interventions should be increased to support these programs. Use of non improved water sources, short breast feeding periods, young mothers and large families are associated with increased cases of under-5 mortality. However, the study gives short term solutions, and integrated efforts from all sectors would help in addressing these challenges.