The Role Of Immunisation On Child Health Outcomes: A Case Of Child Mortality In Kenya
ABSTRACT Immunisation has proved as an economically sound human right approach to be provided to all society members to mitigate against morbidity or fatalities. Despite the recognised benefits of childhood immunization programmes, Kenya has realized limited gains in improving the health of children, with many remaining unreached and prone to risk of vaccine-preventable diseases. Based on these facts, it is important to understand empirically how immunisation uptake would impact child health outcomes in Kenya. The study used the Kenya Demographic and Household survey, 2014 which contains factors associated with child health outcomes (under-five mortality) and full immunisation. The study employed the binary probit regression model in the econometric estimation. The dependent variable used was under five child mortality reported while the independent variable of interest was child immunisation (full) with other control variables being the demographic; socio-economic factors and environmental factors and access indicators. At 1%, 5% and 10% significance levels, the study findings revealed that immunisation; being married, middle wealth quintile and richest wealth quintile; Hospital delivery and central region were found to be statistically significant in determining under-five child mortality. On the other hand age of the mother, education, residence, religion, occupation, wealth index (except third and fifth), Antenatal visits, Mass media, Piped water source, Flush toilets and regions (except central region) were shown to be statistically insignificant at all significance levels. To control child mortality in Kenya, apart from reviewing existing policies on maternal and child health, the study recommends to the government and other relevant stakeholders to target new-born mothers to reduce inadequacies of children in a households reaching full immunization. This could be done through the creation of awareness through churches and schools countrywide, on the consequences of failing to use immunization, especially among children under-five which could contribute to the increased incidence of vaccine preventable diseases and prevalence of high child morbidity and mortality rates.
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