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Eastern Africa Social Science Research Review

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Child Morbidity and Mortality in Slum Environments along Nairobi River

Margaret Nyanchoka Keraka, Wellington Nguya Wamicha

Abstract


The problem that guided this study was that child mortality and morbidity disparities continue to be observed in the era of improved expansion of the provision of health care services. Some areas have low mortality and morbidity while others such as the slums of Nairobi have high. Various factors may account for this scenario. On the one hand, this would be because of uneven distribution of health facilities. On the other hand, environmental factors may be the major contributors to this high rate of morbidity and mortality. Environmental factors have been analysed in the context of socio-economic, socio-cultural and health environments.
The aim of this study was therefore to examine the impact of slum environments on morbidity and mortality profile in slum environments along Nairobi River. The main objectives were: first, to assess the influence of environmental factors on child morbidity and mortality, and second, to analyse the influence of the perception and behaviour patterns of slum dwellers on child mortality and morbidity.
The data used in this study was collected using in-depth interviews and extensive literature review. The key findings of the study included the fact that poverty is a major factor in child morbidity and mortality. It is because of low-income levels that the families concerned were not able to improve the sanitation that was in turn going to improve the health status of the children. The study therefore recommended that the government should give small loans to slum dwellers, which they can use to start income- generating activities. This can help generate some money that may improve childcare practices.


(Eastern Africa Social Science Research Review: 2003 19(1): 41-58)



http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/eas.2002.0013
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