Determinants of diarrhea among young children under the age of five in Kenya, evidence from KDHS 2008-09

Samwel Mbugua, Eddison Musikoyo, Faith Ndungi, Richard Sang, Elizabeth Kamau-Mbuthia, Douglas Ngotho


This paper examines the relative contribution of household, demographic and maternal characteristics to the incidence of diarrhea in young Kenyan children. Data from the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2008- 09 was used with a total of 3838 women included in the study. The measure of diarrhea in children was derived from woman’s questionnaire. Logistic regression analysis showed that age of child [AOR, 0.796; 95% CI, 0.559-1.134] and residence of mother [AOR, 0.538; 95% CI, 0.324-0.895] are more likely to influence childhood diarrhea. Higher education level of mother was associated with lower incidence of childhood diarrhea [AOR, 0.187; 95% CI, 0.609-0.573]. Household characteristics that had statistically significant influence on childhood diarrhea included sources of drinking water [AOR, 1.644; 95% CI, 1.040-2.599] and household size [AOR, 1.334; 95% CI, 1.000-1.780]. This paper emphasizes the importance of mothers being literate and access to good quality drinking water sources in reducing childhood diarrhea.


Childhood diarrhea; Sources of drinking water; Mother’s education level; Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2008-09

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