Impact of Breastfeeding on Infant and Child Mortality with Varying Levels of Immunization and HIV/AIDS: Evidence from 2008/09 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey
Social Sciences
Volume 3, Issue 1, February 2014, Pages: 9-16
Received: Jan. 16, 2014; Published: Feb. 20, 2014
Views 2625      Downloads 120
Boniface Omuga K’Oyugi, Population Studies and Research Institute, University of Nairobi, Kenya
Article Tools
Follow on us
Appropriate breastfeeding is one of the cost effective measures in the broader strategy for Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) Programme which was adopted by the international community in the 1990s to reduce infant and child mortality especially in developing countries such as Kenya. Although Kenya experienced great improvements towards attainment of full immunization coverage in 1990s and early 2000s, it also experienced high HIV and malaria prevalence rates in some parts of the country during the two decades. This paper used the 2008/09 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey data to analyze the impact of breastfeeding duration in the face of varying levels of immunization coverage and HIV/AIDS risk perception. A total of 6,079 births born 59 months or less preceding the survey were used in the analysis. Life table and generalized linear regression in log linear format were the main methods applied. To determine the breastfeeding effect, other broad community level contextual and socio-economic as well as individual level biological and household environmental factors were controlled for in the analysis. Births in communities with longer breastfeeding duration exceeding 13 months had about 34 per cent lower infant and child mortality when compared with their other counterparts. Longer breastfeeding duration was also found to have beneficial effect on child survival even in lower immunization and higher HIV/AIDS risk situations. Multiple births and those born to mother in widowed/divorced/separated marital status had undesired effect on child mortality. The study results underscores the need for strengthening aspects of the IMCI Programme aimed at promoting breastfeeding and immunization of children as stipulated in the Ministry of Health guidelines which are also in line with those provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Further research is also necessary to explain the mechanism and key proximate determinants through which breastfeeding and immunization act to strongly influence childhood mortality in Kenya.
Breastfeeding, Immunization, HIV/AIDS, Infant Child Mortality, Kenya, Demographic and Health Survey
To cite this article
Boniface Omuga K’Oyugi, Impact of Breastfeeding on Infant and Child Mortality with Varying Levels of Immunization and HIV/AIDS: Evidence from 2008/09 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey, Social Sciences. Vol. 3, No. 1, 2014, pp. 9-16. doi: 10.11648/
S.O. Rutstein, "Factors associated with trends in infant and child mortality in developing countries during the 1990s", Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Special theme – Child Mortality, 70 (10), pp. 256-1270, 2000
J. O. Ogbe, "Exclusive breastfeeding and child immunization as demographic determinants of child mortality in Delta State", Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 7 (1), pp. 35-39, 2008.
A. Coutsoudia, "Breastfeeding and HIV positive mother: debate continues", Early Human Development Vol. 81 Issue 1, pp. 87-93, 2005.
S. Balkrishan, "Exploring gender: Islamic perspectives on breastfeeding", International Research Journal of Social Sciences Vol. 2(6), pp. 30-32, 2013.
B. O. K’Oyugi, "The impact of household and community level environmental factors on infant and child mortality in rural Kenya", Unpublished Ph. D thesis, Population Studies and Research Institute, University of Nairobi, pp.163-165, 1992.
P.A. Akwara, "The impact of breastfeeding practices on infant and child mortality in Amagoro Division of Busia, Kenya", Unpublished MA thesis, Population Studies and Research Institute, University of Nairobi, pp. v-vi, 1994.
K. Molbak et al., "Prolonged breastfeeding, diarrheal disease and survival of children in Guinea-Bissau", Br Med J 308, pp.1403-1406, 1994.
J.P Habicht, J. DaVanzo, W.P. Butz, "Mothers milk and sewerage: their interactive effects on infant mortality", Pediatrics 81(3), pp. 456-461, 1988.
UNICEF, "Levels and trends in child mortality: estimates developed by the UN Inter-Agency Group for child mortality estimation report", http: // / mortality.html, cited 2013 June 14.
S. R. B. L. Shrivastava, P.S. Shrivastava and J. Ramasamy, "Infant mortality: need to bridge the existing gap", Sciknow Publications Ltd, International Journal of Maternal and Child Health, I (3), pp.51-52, 2013.
W.M Ramalho, L. M. Serdinha, I. P. Rodrigues and E.C. Duarte, "Inequalities in infant mortality among municipalities in Brazil according to the Family Development Index 2006-2008", Rev Panam Salud Publice, 33(3), p.205, 2012,
W.H. Mosley and L.C. Chen, "An analytical framework for the study of child survival in developing countries", Population and Development Review, Supplement to Volume 10, pp. 25-45, 1984.
J. T. Boerma, A. E. Sommerfelt, S. O. Rutstein and G. Rojas, "Immunization levels, trends and differential", Demographic and Health Surveys Comparative Studies No. 1: Institute of Resource Development/Macro System Inc., Colombia, Maryland, 1990.
Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and ICF Macro, "Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2008-09", Calverton, Maryland : KNBS and ICF Macro, p. 104, 2010
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186