Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 1389–1399

Influence of Maternal Education on Child Immunization and Stunting in Kenya


    • Department of Education Theory and PolicyPennsylvania State University
    • Education Research ProgramAfrican Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), Shelter Afrique Center
  • E. O. Onsomu
    • Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of North Carolina at Charlotte
    • The School of Health SciencesWinston Salem State University
  • J. K. Kimani
    • Health Systems and ChallengesAfrican Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), Shelter Afrique Center
  • D. Moore
    • Department of Visual, Performing, and Communication ArtsJohnson C. Smith University

DOI: 10.1007/s10995-010-0670-z

Cite this article as:
Abuya, B.A., Onsomu, E.O., Kimani, J.K. et al. Matern Child Health J (2011) 15: 1389. doi:10.1007/s10995-010-0670-z


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.


Child healthMaternal educationImmunizationChild nutritionHealth knowledgeKenya

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010