Article

Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 1389-1399

Influence of Maternal Education on Child Immunization and Stunting in Kenya

  • B. A. AbuyaAffiliated withDepartment of Education Theory and Policy, Pennsylvania State UniversityEducation Research Program, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), Shelter Afrique Center Email author 
  • , E. O. OnsomuAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health Sciences, University of North Carolina at CharlotteThe School of Health Sciences, Winston Salem State University
  • , J. K. KimaniAffiliated withHealth Systems and Challenges, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), Shelter Afrique Center
  • , D. MooreAffiliated withDepartment of Visual, Performing, and Communication Arts, Johnson C. Smith University

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Abstract

In 2003, the child mortality rate in Kenya was 115/1000 children compared to 88/1000 average for Sub-Saharan African countries. This study sought to determine the effect of maternal education on immunization (n = 2,169) and nutritional status (n = 5,949) on child’s health. Cross-sectional data, Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS)-2003 were used for data analyses. 80% of children were stunted and 49% were immunized. After controlling for confounding, overall, children born to mothers with only a primary education were 2.17 times more likely to be fully immunized compared to those whose mothers lacked any formal education, P < 0.001. For nutrition, unadjusted results, children born to mothers with primary education were at 94% lower odds of having stunted growth compared to mothers with no primary education, P < 0.01. Policy implications for child health in Kenya should focus on increasing health knowledge among women for better child health outcomes.

Keywords

Child health Maternal education Immunization Child nutrition Health knowledge Kenya