Although there has been global decline in Infant and Child Mortality rates, sub-Sahara African countries still bear the greatest burden in the world. Many of these deaths occur as a result of preventable diseases such as pneumonia, malaria, measles and malnutrition. This has been witnessed in the six partnership districts of the study. With the introduction of a dialogue model, the study aimed at investigating the characteristics associated with the affected households. The overall result in the six partnership districts is a reversal of the recent child mortality trends in Kenya. The study aimed to determine the child mortality rates in six partnership districts and their distribution by socio-economic characteristics and health seeking behaviour. Mortality and population data were derivedfrom a complete household census of 27 sub-locations within the partnership districts (Nyando 7, Kisumu 2, Bondo 7, Suba 7, Siaya 2 and Rachuonyo 2 sub-locations). Child mortality and its relationship to specific variables relating to background and proximate factors were considered.
Between 2006 and 2007, proportions of households with child deaths declined in all the districts with Rachuonyo and Suba district sub-locations having the greatest decline from 38% to 12% and 15% to 0.1%, respectively. Proportions of health facility deliveries decreased in households that experienced under-five deaths in all the other 5 districts except Nyando sub- locations with an increase of (18%). Measles vaccination coverage was lower among households with child deaths.
Use of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) was lower among households with child deaths in Kisumu and Bondo unlike in Rachuonyo where a large proportion of the households experiencing child deaths were using ITNs.
Child mortality declined by type of housing and level of education. Households living in mud houses and had mothers with primary education experienced the highest proportions of child mortality while households living in permanent houses with mothers having secondary education and above, the lowest. Education of mothers remains a significant determinant of child mortality along with health facility delivery. No difference in child mortality was realized between mothers having primary education and those that had none. Better health seeking behavior should, therefore, be encouraged to help stem the high child mortality rates.