Child nutritional status and maternal factors in an urban slum in Nairobi, Kenya

  • FM Thuita Department of Community Health, University of Nairobi, P. O. Box 19676, Nairobi, Kenya
  • RKN Mwadime Regional Centre for Quality of Health Care, Makerere University P. O. Box 4356 Kampala, Uganda
  • JK Wang'ombe Department of Community Health, College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi, P. O. Box 19676, Nairobi, Kenya


Objective: To assess the relationship between maternal factors and child nutritional status among children aged 6-36 months.
Design: Cross sectional descriptive survey.
Setting: Urban slum settlement in Nairobi, Kenya.
Subjects: This study included a random sample of 369 households of mothers with children aged 6-36 months at the time of the study.
Results: Maternal factors which showed a positive significant association with at least one of the three child nutritional status indicators (height for age, weight for age and weight for height) were birth spacing, parity, maternal education level and mothers marital status. Child spacing and parity emerged as the most important predictors of stunting among study children. Maternal nutritional status was also shown to be positively associated with child nutritional status. Maternal ill health had a negative effect on child nutritional status.
Conclusion: Maternal factors are an underlying cause of childhood malnutrition.
East African Medical Journal Vol.82(4) 2005: 209-215

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0012-835X