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Relationship between household characteristics and food security among households with school going children 6-14 years in Turkana County, Kenya

JE Tukei
J Situma
SO Konyole


Good nutrition is very essential for proper growth and development of school going children. Malnutrition among school-going children affects their physical and cognitive development leading to low-class attendance hence poor school performance. Despite the economic growth observed in developing countries in recent years, undernutrition is still predominant. This study aims to determine the household food and nutrition security among households with school going children 6-14 years in Turkana County. A cross-sectional study design was adopted where 386 children were sampled for study. Turkana West Sub- County was purposively selected and the wards, locations sub-locations and villages were randomly selected. Systematic random sampling was used to sample households with school going children 6-14 years. A structured questionnaire survey was conducted on parents/guardians. Statistical analysis was performed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences Software (SPSS) Version 25. Data was analyzed using descriptive and multivariate statistics at 95% confidence interval. About 60% (n=228) of the households were headed by males with 62.2% aged between 20-30years. The large proportion of the respondents (58.8%) had attained primary education level only. Charcoal and firewood selling (25.6%) was the main occupation of the household heads, 13.2 % provided agricultural labor and only 2.1% had a formal employment. The rest did not have any source of income. The average dietary diversity score of the individuals was 5 to7 food groups while the highest dietary diversity score was 8-10 food groups. The school going children (6-14 years) had a medium dietary score with 45.9% while 22.3% had a low dietary diversity score. The study indicated that there was a significant relationship between dietary diversity and the nutrition security of the school going children 6-14 years. Findings of this study are useful in informing the County government of Turkana in the planning and implementation of relevant food and nutrition security programs in the Turkana West community. The study recommends adequate nutrition support to be incorporated in the school feeding program in the locality.