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Access to Child Health Care, Medical Treatment of Sick Children and Childhood Mortality Relationships in Kenya
Authors: Boniface Omuga K’Oyugi
Source: Health, 6(11): 1152-1164; DOI: 10.4236/health.2014.611142
Topic(s): Child health
Childhood mortality
Health care utilization
Country: Africa
Published: MAY 2014
Abstract: Child health care factors such as medical treatment of sick children have direct and indirect effect on childhood mortality. Through international cooperation, a number of countries including Kenya have gathered information on provision of child health services at facility level from periodic Service Provision Assessment (SPA) surveys. Kenya has also gathered information on medical treatment of sick children at household level from periodic Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). However, establishing how health care information in the SPA surveys relates to childhood mortality and also how these factors relate to medical treatment of sick children in the DHS has been constrained by differences in sample designs of the surveys. This study deployed a strategy of constructing community level variables derived from the SPA survey data and incorporated them into DHS data which served as the main data source. The SPA and DHS sampling designs for Kenya allow computation of stable estimates of regional demographic and health service indicators at provincial level. This study analyzed information gathered from 690 health facilities in 2010 SPA and 6079 births born less than 60 months from 2008/09 DHS. The study found that access to child health services, waiting time before service in facility and time to the nearest referral facility were significant facilitating factors for medical treatment of sick children. The study also established that waiting time before service in facility was the only access to health care factor which had a significant effect on childhood mortality when HIV prevalence was excluded in the analysis. However, the significance of waiting time before service diminished with inclusion of HIV prevalence. Further research is required to refine definition and measurement for child health care variable on female autonomy. KEYWORDS: Access to Child Health Care, Medical Treatment, Childhood Mortality, Kenya